KEY POINTS

  • Various Twitter users have unhealthy practices in the app
  • Twitter seeks to remedy that by adding new features that will limit who can reply to tweets
  • The feature is in testing phase at the moment, but will roll out globally later in the year

By now, Twitter users have probably seen the various unhealthy practices done by some of the platform's users. These practices, like commenting on posts more than actually liking them – which is called getting “ratioed” – aren't what the people behind Twitter were hoping to see. And so, the app is working to introduce new features meant to encourage healthier interactions.

“Getting ratio’d, getting dunked on, the dynamics that happen that we think aren’t as healthy are definitely part of ... our thinking about this,” Suzanne Xie, Twitter's director for product management, said in an event during CES, The Verge reported.

Xie specifically said that the app will be adding a new setting that will let users determine who will be allowed to reply to their tweets. The setting is called “conversation participants,” and it gives users four options to limit who can participate in each conversation right there on the compose screen. These four unique options are “global,” “group,” “panel” and “statement.”

  • The Global setting allows any Twitter user to reply to the original poster's tweet. Of course, provided that they see the tweet.
  • The Group setting limits replies to people whom the original tweet poster follows and mentions in his or her tweet.
  • The Panel setting only allows replies from users who are mentioned in the original poster's tweet. Those who aren't mentioned won't be allowed to make any reply whatsoever.
  • Lastly, Statement allows Twitter users to post any tweet they want without allowing anybody to reply. As the name implies, that tweet is only a “statement” and not a “conversation starter.”

Xie clarified that the feature is still in testing phase, and that Twitter is “in the process of doing research on the feature.” The company will look into the results of the testing and use these results to improve the feature so that it can be launched in all territories later in the year.

Twitter is also looking to add a new, specific conversation view, which might include threading. This view connects tweets and replies using lines. This feature was previously tested in twttr, but also spotted in Twitter by a reverse engineer.

Twitter will allow users to hide messages they feel are annoying or harassing as part of an effort to create a better environment on the platform Twitter is adding new features that will limit those who are allowed to reply to a user's tweet. Photo: AFP / Alastair Pike