Twitter replies are about to change forever. As of Jan. 8 at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Twitter announced they will be introducing a new feature that allows users to limit replies to their tweets.
What is the new feature?
Suzannie Xie, director of product management, explained that Twitter users will now choose between four options in regards to responses: Global, Group, Panel, and Statement. Global allows everyone to react back and Group is for the followers that you mention. Posting a Statement means nobody can reply back to you, and Panel is used just for the people you mentioned in that tweet.
To this day, Twitter is recognized as an open platform for free speech. Twitter replies are known for having a combination of provoking thought and comedic relief. However, there is still plenty of room for hurtful words and toxic statements that can only be controlled so much.
While Twitter can be used to promote a business, it is largely used to promote conversation. There have been mixed reviews across from its users since the news dropped Jan. 8.
How do users feel about it?
Some are in favor of this change, as well as other measures taken in the past to censor tweets. They feel it limits trolls, negative messages and provides a greater sense of control.
Others believe that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, has approved a change that is completely unnecessary. It defeats the purpose of Twitter and reduces people from gaining a larger platform they would not normally be able to have.
Twitter user “MotownDR” responded to the initial post put out by Matt Navarra about this revolutionary change, where he said “the Twitter appeal is that it’s representative and for everyone, democracy in action. Everyone has a voice, in theory. What Jack Dorsey is doing here, is creating private little enclaves and clubs. Essentially twitter will be Linkedin.”
What does the future hold?
Xie did not provide a date when users can expect this change. However, one can argue that the trademark of Twitter is having the choice to reply to anyone, engage and understand views different from your personal beliefs. Does changing the way users reply potentially destroying Twitter’s purpose?
Later this year, users will have the ability to completely cut off replies to their tweets if they want. One question remains, if you do not want replies to your statements on Twitter, then why post it on a public interface for everyone to see in the first place?