Twitter is exploring a new “trusted friends” feature that gives users more control over who can see certain tweets.
The move could make it possible to block some followers from seeing select posts — without actually blocking their accounts. It comes after rumors claimed Twitter is planning to add groups support to its platform.
When you publish a tweet today, every single one of your followers can see it. The only way to prevent that is to set your account to private and remove any followers who shouldn’t see all your updates.
This has forced some Twitter users to create separate accounts that only close friends or family members have access to, leaving work colleagues and other associates off their follower list.
Thanks to a potential new trusted friends feature, which Twitter is exploring today, that may not be necessary in the future.
Twitter eyes new trusted friends feature
With trusted friends, you’ll be able to create a group filled only with the people closest to you — those you are comfortable sharing everything with. You’ll then be able to post tweets that only trusted friends can see.
It sounds similar to Instagram’s Close Friends feature — because it is — but that works only for Stories updates, whereas Twitter’s implementation seems to be available for all content.
Trusted friends is just a concept for now, however, so there’s no telling when, or even if, the feature will ever make it to Twitter’s platform.
“The company says it’s thinking through these concepts and is looking to now gather feedback to inform what it may later develop,” explains TechCrunch. “Twitter says the benefit of this private, ‘friends only’ format is that it could save people from the workarounds they’re currently using.”
A more private public network
The idea goes against Twitter’s early mission of being a public space where everything is available to everyone. But it’s part of a greater mission to give users more control over their content in the future.
Twitter has already rolled out the ability to control who can reply to your tweets. It has also announced an upcoming Super Follow feature, which allows popular users to publish content that can be seen only by those who have a paid subscription to their profile.
The company is also believed to be working on groups support. This would allow users to divide their followers into different categories and then publish tweets that only certain groups can see. This would be handy for those who occasionally post different kinds of content.
For instance, if you’re a tech enthusiast who has gained a sizable following posting about the latest gadgets, you may avoid tweeting about sports and other topics for fear of alienating the vast majority of your followers. Groups would fix that problem by ensuring off-topic tweets cannot be seen by every follower.