Just last May, Twitter started testing out a way for users to be able to control who can or cannot reply to their tweets. The social media platform says that they have gotten a lot of positive feedback regarding this feature that has helped users feel more secure and comfortable when posting. So now they are finally making it available for all users on both the Android app and the web version. You will now be able to make those “unwanted replies” go away and have more control over the conversation on your account.
If you weren’t part of the random test group that was able to use it already, this is basically how it works. Before you post that tweet, you will have three options on who can reply to that particular tweet. The default setting is everyone which means if your account is public, just about anyone who can read your tweet can reply to it. The second option is that those who can reply to you are people whom you follow. This is most likely people you already know in real life or online.
The third option is that only those whom you mention in the tweet will be able to reply to your tweet. This is for those conversations that you want everyone to see even if you’re basically talking back and forth with those who you want to talk to. The rest of us will just be looking in and reading the convention. We’ll still be able to read, like, retweet and retweet with comment but we can’t join in on the public chat.
If you choose the last two settings, your tweet will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out if you’re part of that subset that cannot reply. During the beta test period, people have used the settings for interviews and panels, making announcements, or just sharing what’s on their mind without wanting any feedback from the rest of the world. The feedback has been users have become more comfortable tweeting since they feel “safer”.
Now that the rest of the Twitterverse will be able to experience this, Twitter says they will continue to update these settings depending on the feedback of users. They are planning to add more options like inviting more people after the conversation already started, better notifications when you’re invited, etc.