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Twitter mulls ‘trusted friends’ feature for targeted tweets

Twitter has revealed it’s exploring new ways for users to share their tweets.

While stressing that the company hasn’t yet made working versions of any of the ideas, a designer at Twitter said that at this stage the social media company is welcoming feedback on the suggestions.

The first idea is a simpler way for you to share tweets with a particular group of people via a feature called “trusted friends.”

“We hear y’all, toggling your tweets from public to protected, juggling alt accounts,” Twitter said in a post. “It could be simpler to talk to who you want, when you want.”

With that in mind, trusted friends would let you create a private group to which you could send select tweets. It could be configured to let you see trusted friends’ tweets first, Twitter suggested, which would offer another option alongside the existing chronological or home timelines, the latter using an algorithm to surface the “best” tweets.

Another feature under consideration would let you create and tweet from different personas, such as work, family, and special interests — all within the same account. Followers could then choose to continue to follow the entire account, or simply select particular facets to follow, banishing tweets that are of no interest to them.

Finally, there’s an interesting concept that would allow you to select words or phrases that you’d prefer not to see in your replies or mentions. It means that if someone uses any of those words or phrases when responding to you, they’d see a message telling them you’d prefer not to view such content and that if they choose to post the tweet, it will be sent straight to the bottom of the conversation. You may also be able to hit a button that would automatically mute an account if the person behind it ignores advice on more than one occasion to reword their tweet. Below, you can see how it might work:

Here’s how it’d work:

• Authors choose the phrases they prefer not to see
• These phrases are highlighted as ppl write replies; ppl can learn why, or ignore the guidance
• Authors can enable automatic actions, like moving violating replies to the bottom of the convo

— A Designer (@a_dsgnr) July 1, 2021

We should say again that these ideas are currently just that — concepts that may or may not see the light of day. If Twitter users like the sound of these suggestions and make their feelings known, the company will likely build them for a period of real-world testing before possibly rolling them out to everyone, so watch this space.

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Trevor Mogg
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