Twitter is giving more control to users, as a new reply limit feature will allow users to decide who can and can’t comment on their posts.
Twitter testing reply limit feature
The new feature will allow users to choose one of three limits: 1) those in tweet mentions, 2) those they follow, or 3) everyone. If someone sets their reply limit to tweet mentions and they mention no one, then no one can reply. Regardless of who can reply, all users can still “like” tweets as before.
The new feature is available right now for a small number of users. The social media company wrote on its own Twitter page, “We’re starting with a small (percent) globally, so keep your (eyes) out to see it in action.” Twitter started separating retweets with comments from retweets without earlier this month. Back in March, the company started testing “fleets,” fleeting tweets that disappear after a period of time.
The purpose of greater post control
“Greater post control” as a concept seems foreign to some. After all, if users own their accounts, then they have all the post control they can ask for, right? Well, not exactly. Users can create their accounts, choose their username and passwords, and can post tweets. They can extend tweets and post threads (long tweets) if they choose.
They can delete comments if they believe a user is trolling their account. And yet, the one thing they cannot do is prevent users from responding.
Deleting a tweet afterward is one thing, but being able to prevent a trolling tweet is quite another. And in this new feature, Twitter is enhancing post control such that users won’t have to respond after the fact.
Trolling is a huge problem for all social media platforms. With Twitter being a famous one, it makes sense that the social media company would have a trolling problem on its hands.
And yet, if Twitter brings this feature public, it could prevent the work of Twitter representatives later on. With posters getting greater control over trolls, Twitter reps won’t have as much work to do.
The downside of greater post control
Posters will receive greater control over their posts, true. They’ll be able to allow or disallow comments. And yet, such enhanced control may backfire for poster followers.
If a poster doesn’t allow followers, or even general users, to engage him or her, users may start to unfollow accounts and take their comments elsewhere.
After all, one thing that makes social media as popular as it is today is the ability of self-expression. Few users want to visit a social media platform and not have the right to write a comment.
With that said, posters will need to take this greater control and discern when and how to use it. But then again, balancing more power with responsibility is nothing new to social platforms.