Twitter is testing a new feature that lets users decide who can reply to their tweets, the company announced las Wednesday, and some accounts are already using it in some interesting new ways.
For anyone who has been able to use Twitter before, you could probably reply to anybody on Twitter as long as your profile was not private or blocked. But now, if you’re part of the test, you can get to decide if you want to allow replies from everyone, or only people you follow, or only people you tag.
Well this basically means that if you don’t tag anyone, then no one can reply at all. This limiting feature introduced by the company could change how some people use the social media platform in significant ways. This means that interviews on Twitter, for example, could be much more streamlined, and NBC’s Twitter account for Meet the Press has already shown an example of how.
Limiting how users can interact with live Twitter interviews does mean that emergent conversations won’t occur as easily in the replies. You can theoretically still quote tweet messages even if those tweets have limited replies, and conversations could be started that way. The limitation means interviews may not feel quite as organic as they sometimes were before. On the positive side, the feature does make interviews much easier to follow.
What i like about the limiting of replies is that it could also be used to help prevent the spread of spoilers for upcoming movies, TV shows, and video games.
There is the danger that limiting replies may be used to people’s advantages especially by politicians. If politicians or public officials post misinformation and don’t allow replies, people wouldn’t be able to easily fact-check a tweet in the replies that would appear under the original misinformation, which would obviously be used to correct a record.
President Donald Trump has yet to make use of the feature, but it will surely inspire debate if and when he does.