Twitter is set to launch testing new privacy features, giving users deeper control over their subscriber lists, as well as who can see their posts and likes. The service strives to become more convenient for communication.
Among the new functions of “social privacy”, as the administration of the service calls them, will be the ability to edit subscriber lists, as well as tools for archiving old messages – the user will be able to determine the period after which the tweets will no longer be visible to other users. This can be useful for popular users who no longer have to delete posts manually. Now they really have to skip the feed a few years ago in order to remove what they would not publish now.
According to the company’s research, many Twitter users do not understand the basics of privacy and do not even realize whether their messages are visible to everyone. As a result, they use the service less, limit their self-expression and do not participate in discussions.
The Twitter privacy team is preparing several features that will reduce user uncertainty. Testing of some tools will begin shortly, while others are still at the concept development stage. Below is a preliminary list of these tools.
- Archiving tweets. Users will be able to hide messages after a certain period of time, they will remain visible only to the author. Several options are being considered, for example, hiding posts after 30, 60, 90 days or after a year. This function does not have a test launch date, while only its concept is being worked out.
- Removing subscribers. Users will be able to remove subscribers without blocking them. This feature will start testing in September.
- Hiding likes. Users will be able to determine who will see which tweets they like: everyone, followers, or specific groups. So far nothing has been said about when this function will be tested.
- Exit discussion. Users will be able to be removed from public discussions. Right now, only one person sending a message chooses whom he can mention. Function testing will start before the end of the year.
Employees of the service note that people are often forced to use a creative approach when working with tools available on Twitter. For example, they block someone and then unblock them to remove them from the list of subscribers. Many people delete old tweets or make their account public and private, depending on what information they publish.
Archiving tweets, in particular, will allow users to get rid of fears that they may be overtaken by their own past when applying for a job, going to college or trying to run for political office. Snapchat and Instagram have Stories functions for such purposes, they are quite popular, which means they are in demand. At the same time, Twitter Fleets’ own similar function was completely disliked by users, so it was decided to extend its analogue to the tweets themselves.
Twitter has traditionally shown transparency by announcing its plans to introduce new features in advance. Some of them remain just ideas and do not reach users. CEO Jack Dorsey previously lamented that new features have been taking too long in recent years. Therefore, it was decided to adjust the strategy and implement innovations much faster, which, according to the company, will have a positive impact on revenue and new user growth.