Users of the social network may be able to determine the circle of addressees of their messages individually in the future.
Düsseldorf Twitter is testing an innovation that undermines a basic principle of the service: with the “Circle” function, tweets can also only be shared in a smaller circle. “Not every tweet is meant for everyone,” Twitter said on Tuesday. With “Circle” it is easier to have confidential conversations and build closer connections with a small group. Up to 150 users can be added to a “Circle”.
Twitter works from the very beginning in such a way that tweets are basically public and can be seen by all users. So far, there have been two exceptions to this: direct messages between users and the ability to make all tweets from an account visible only to those who are allowed by the owner of the profile. However, this has been a basic setting so far: either the account is completely closed or completely open. Only which users can reply, such as their own followers or accounts mentioned in the tweet, can be set individually so far.
Tweets published in a “circle” cannot be retweeted or shared, Twitter explained. The feature will initially be available to a small group of users worldwide, it said. Twitter is thus also taking up a function of the social network Google Plus, which has now been switched off. There, users could set certain circles for contacts, such as family or friends.
Twitter is currently in the middle of a takeover attempt by tech billionaire Elon Musk, who accuses the service of restricting the freedom of speech on the platform too much. Musk agreed to a roughly $44 billion deal with Twitter’s board of directors, but is still dependent on enough shareholders wanting to cede their shares to him. Twitter and Musk plan to complete the acquisition by the end of the year.