Twitter Circle: New feature lets you set the audience for each tweet

4 May 2022

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Similar to Instagram’s Close Friends feature, Twitter Circle could give users the benefit of having a private account whenever they want.

Twitter is testing a new feature that will allow users to post tweets that are visible to only a select group of accounts, much like the Close Friends feature on Instagram.

Unlike in a general tweet, Twitter Circle tweets are restricted for viewing by up to 150 accounts selected by the user. This could keep certain conversations private or within close circles.

Announced yesterday (3 May), the new feature is intended to improve user experience by allowing for greater privacy and confidentiality without the need to make an account private.

Users can choose which tweets to share with all followers and which to restrict to just their Twitter Circle. Users can also regularly update the accounts that are in their Circle.

“Some tweets are for everyone, and others are just for people you’ve picked,” the Twitter Safety account tweeted yesterday.

The feature is available in testing to a small group of Twitter users across iOS, Android and web devices for now. If user feedback is positive, Twitter will roll out the feature globally, adding to its growing list of potential new features in the pipeline – including ‘unmentioning’ and even an edit button.

Mark Dice, a media analyst and author, replied to the Twitter Safety tweet, arguing that the Circle feature could exacerbate harassment on the platform by creating exclusive communities that could evade being reported.

Twitter’s track record with new features has been a bit hit-and-miss recently. The company rolled back its decision to default to an algorithm-based timeline in March after receiving pushback from users, and it retired its Fleets feature last summer just eight months after introducing it.

More changes could be on the way for the platform with 229m daily active users as Elon Musk looks set to take charge later this year – pending approval of a $44bn takeover deal.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic