Twitter has expanded its conversation limits feature to everyone, the company announced Tuesday. The limits allow Twitter users on the web version of the service or the mobile apps to restrict people from replying to their tweets, specifically people they don’t follow, or people who they have not mentioned in a tweet. “People tell us they feel more comfortable Tweeting [with the feature] and more protected from spam and abuse,” Director of Product Management Suzanne Xie said.
Twitter started testing this feature in May. The company said it was satisfied that these controls were not being worked around by persistent trolls. “Problematic repliers aren’t finding another way – these settings prevented an average of three potentially abusive replies while only adding one potentially abusive Retweet with Comment,” Xie said. “And, we didn’t see any uptick in unwanted Direct Messages.”
But Twitter users continue to engage in discussions with such tweets. “People more frequently look for additional commentary when replies are limited – the new Retweets with Comments timeline is visited 4x more often on Tweets using these settings,” Xie said. “Several times, we saw more Likes and views on a Retweet with Comment than on the original Tweet, even though the original Tweet author had more followers.”
The company indicated that it doesn’t intend on changing this. “Twitter serves the public conversation, so it’s important for people to be able to see different perspectives,” Xie said. So while tweets with conversational controls aren’t completely airtight, Twitter doesn’t want it that way, either. So while big accounts will still have to deal with messy mentions, they’ll now have the choice to keep their reply area tidier.
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