As part of its plans to get people tweeting more often, Twitter is working on a plethora of features that the company believes will help reassure users about their privacy. The new features will be an expansion of Twitter’s ongoing efforts to offer more granular control to users over what they can and cannot do with their content on the platform.
Even as Twitter continues to roll out new features, some of its recent moves haven’t proved all that popular with users. One of the most high-profile failures in recent times was Fleets, the ephemeral messaging feature which was an unabashed ripoff of Snapchat Stories. The feature debuted in November 2020, but was discontinued last month due to low usage. Twitter is also testing a ‘Dislike’ button, but it remains unclear if the feature will eventually see the light of day.
The upcoming features will deal with what Twitter refers to as ‘social privacy,’ which pertains to how users can keep their activity on the platform private. That’s according to Svetlana Pimkina, a staff researcher at Twitter, who told Bloomberg that being unsure of their privacy status is one of the main reasons why many users are either withdrawing from the platform altogether or not engaging as much as they otherwise would. As part of the plan, Twitter will soon start urging people to check whether their accounts are public or private. Starting this month, the company will start prompting users to review their account security, including the privacy of their Tweets and other personal information. Going forward, the privacy thrust will increase in scope and scale, with the company slated to start testing multiple new features, including the ability to archive Tweets, remove followers, hide ‘liked’ Tweets, and leave conversations.
The tools will help users secure a variety of information, including their Tweets, the posts they have liked, the list of their followers, and more. One of the major changes in the works is the ability to remove unwanted followers, which has long been a demand from users who have complained about the increasing toxicity and lack of civil discourse on the platform. As part of the solution, Twitter already lets users decide who can reply to their Tweets. Going forward, users will be able to simply remove followers they do not want. While users can already block someone, the new feature will let them remove folks from their follower list for good.
Another notable upcoming feature is the ability to archive Tweets, whereby users would be able to hide old Tweets after a set amount of time. Such Tweets would be visible to the account holder, but not to anyone else. As per the report, Twitter might let users hide their Tweets after 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or 1 year. Apparently, the feature is still in the “concept phase,” so there’s no ETA just yet. Along with the two aforementioned highlight features, users might also gain the ability to hide ‘liked’ Tweets. This would allow users to set who can and who cannot see which Tweets they have liked. Finally, users may also get the option to remove themselves from a public conversation on the platform. Twitter will apparently start testing this feature before the end of this year.
All of these will be in addition to features like Super Follows, which was rolled out earlier this week to help users cash in on their Tweets. While the various upcoming changes all sound positive in theory, it remains unclear whether these privacy changes will be enough to get people tweeting more often, or bring back those users that have long left Twitter for one reason or another.