New Twitter feature will let users limit who can reply to their tweets

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Twitter is developing another new feature for managing replies, this time looking to let users to turn them off except for certain groups.

Suzanne Xie, Twitter's director of product management, said at a CES event on Wednesday the platform is working on a feature that will allow users to select "conversation participants" for their tweets, The Verge reports. You'll be able to choose from four options: letting anyone reply, letting only people you follow and mention reply, letting only people you mention reply, and letting no one reply at all.

Twitter previously rolled out a feature allowing users to hide specific replies to their tweets, saying this was part of an effort to "change how conversations work on our service" and "give you more control over the conversations you start."

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"We thought, well, what if we could actually put more control into the author's hands before the fact?" Xie said Wednesday, TechCrunch reports. "Give them really a way to control the conversation space, as they're actually composing a tweet?" Twitter is researching the feature, expecting to unveil it sometime this year.

The Verge's Casey Newton argued this new Twitter feature "could solve a lot of abuse and harassment issues in one fell swoop," while HuffPost's Lydia Polgreen agreed, writing, "This would make Twitter more bearable for a lot of people."

Mashable's Karissa Bell notes, though, that "I could see people getting annoyed when officials/brands limit replies" — and "this could effectively kill the ability to ratio." Journalist Yashar Ali also argued there should be an "exception for government officials at least," saying they "should not be able to use this feature as far as I'm concerned."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.