Social media is supposed to be a platform for meaningful conversations. However, for one reason or another, what was once an enjoyable “keeping up” with friends has turned into a sometimes unbearable ecosystem.
To keep its users from abstaining, if not totally abandoning, the platform, Twitter is giving people more control over their initiated conversations. During the test run, Twitter found out that the “Hide Replies” option is a useful way to manage conversations.
Anyone can choose to hide replies to their Tweets. Everyone can see and engage with hidden replies by tapping the grey icon that will appear on the Tweets. This way, they have more control over the conversations they start, but people can still see the entire conversation.
Twitter also learned that people mostly hide replies they think are irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying. The option is a new way to shut out noise with 85% of the people who hide replies are not using block or mute.
The test also found out that people were curious to see how public figures like those in politics and journalism would use this update. So far, they aren’t hiding replies very often.
In Canada, 27% of people who had their Tweets hidden said they would reconsider how they interact with others in the future. Also, they thought it was a helpful way to manage what they saw, similar to muted keywords. Twitter also learned that users may want to take further action after they hid a reply. They are given an option to block the replier, instead
Some people mentioned that they didn’t want to hide replies due to fear of retaliation as the icon remains visible. Twitter is continuing its tests on this concern.
Twitter is working on new controls and more clarity around the rules of conversation spaces. It said that in the next few months, it will be launching a new hide replies endpoint so developers can build additional conversation management tools. The company is exploring more options around who can reply to or see specific conversations, and testing engagement changes to see if these lead to healthier discussions.
The option to hide replies is rolling out globally on iOS, Android, Twitter Lite, and twitter.com.