Twitter is going to allow you to control who can reply to your tweets, but how people will actually use this feature remains to be seen.
According to Bloomberg, the microblogging site will now allow you to limit who can reply to your tweets. Previously, the social media site only allowed you to respond to certain types of tweets, such as those replies that specifically requested for you to tweet back.
The new feature will introduce a “@” in front of replies that you wish to join, which could deter spammers from Tweeting replies that they will never receive from those who wish to engage, rather than have a real conversation. Other replies will have “@” added in front of them that have no such purpose. So if you tweet about a movie or a book, and the tweet is directed at the person in the reply, it could become an “@” statement that limits replies, not responding.
A statement from Twitter confirmed that the company plans to make the change later this year.
“Starting later this year, you will have the option to limit replies to Tweets in replies to people you follow on Twitter,” Twitter wrote in a post. “The change will give you more control over what content you see and the types of conversations you join on Twitter.”
The new feature has to do with push notifications, in which a new message appears on your screen. In this scenario, a new post may indicate that someone has liked or commented on it. The new ability to restrict replies will help users determine if it is someone who is genuinely looking to engage, or someone who simply clicks the “like” button because it appears on your screen.
Twitter might add more controls for its users in the future to avoid trolling. Most people, however, don’t want a limit on who can see tweets. It may result in people limiting themselves as much as possible to their followers. Considering the company’s history, that could be a disaster.