plan Twitter is testing new privacy-related features that aim to give users greater control over follower lists and who can see Tweets and likes, in an effort to make people more comfortable interacting and sharing across the social network.
The tools relate to what platform executives call “social privacy,” or how users manage reputation and identity across the service.
This includes information such as a person’s follower list, the Tweets they like, and whether their accounts are public or private.
Among the features being considered are the ability to edit follower lists, and a tool to archive old tweets so that they are no longer visible to others after a specified period of time specified by the user.
Hiding past tweets can be a popular feature for people who don’t want their tweets to remain online, providing an easier solution than deleting them manually or searching through old tweets to find the ones you don’t want to send.
“Internal research has found that many users of the platform do not understand the basics of privacy,” said Svetlana Pimkina, a researcher at the company. These users interact less on the social network because they don’t know what others can see about them.
“When social privacy needs are not met, people limit their expression,” she added. They withdraw from the conversation. Twitter will start asking people to review whether their accounts are public or private starting in September.
The company’s privacy team is working on several products to ease user uncertainty. Some are being tested soon, and others are in the concept stage now.
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Twitter plans to let you hide old tweets
List of possible products:
- Archived Tweets: The platform may allow users to hide old tweets after a specified period of time. Tweets are visible to the account holder. But not for anyone else. The company is considering a range of time options, including hiding tweets after 30, 60 and 90 days, or hiding tweets after a full year. This product has no release date and is still in the concept stage.
- remove followers Users will soon be able to remove followers. The platform plans to test this feature starting this month.
- Hide liked tweetsSoon: Users can decide who can see the Tweets they’ve liked. There is no timetable for testing this feature.
- leave conversations: Users are given the option to remove themselves from a public conversation across the platform. Twitter plans to test this feature before the end of the year.
Part of the platform’s motivation is that employees often see users making creative solutions because these features don’t exist, such as blocking and then unblocking someone to remove them as a follower.
Many other users delete old tweets manually, or switch between public and private accounts depending on what they post.
Archiving tweets can help ease the concerns of people who fear that old tweets will reappear while looking for a new job, applying to university or running for political office.
The platform has always been open about the product roadmap, often testing features that haven’t been fully released. But the company also talks a lot about ideas conceptually, which fail to deliver on some, or take much longer than anticipated.
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