Great news for power users of Twitter Inc.’s micro-blogging smartphone apps, reports suggest the ability to temporarily (or permanently) mute someone you follow is about to be added on iOS and Android.
What is muting?
Why don’t I have this?
How is muting different from blocking?
Funny story: late last year Twitter came under fire for changing the block feature so that it worked more like muting (meaning blocked trolls could still follow your feed). After an outcry, they had to reverse course to add back the “terminate with extreme prejudice” features. It does seem wise to have a third option after block and unfollow.
My head is spinning. Why is Twitter so complicated?
Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo is asking the same question. Twitter is a public company now, and after its latest earnings report there was some chatter about the slow growth of the company’s user base and monthly active user figures. Basically, it’s still just a scrappy underdog to Facebook and is actually growing slower than its much bigger rival.
@DickC, as he is known on Twitter, thinks the “scaffolding” of Twitter might be to blame. The hashtags, @handles, RTs, MTs, and other little quirks offer jargony barriers to Twitter neophytes, which may be why so many users who sign up never send a single tweet.
For instance, did you know that when you start a tweet with @guyIknow it will be directed at that person, but it is also public, but not to everyone who follows you sees it unless they also follow @guyIknow. Costolo wants to remove complicated logic like that and make it easier for people to just chat and interact without knowing “the rules.”
I don’t know about all that... but being able to stick a cork in an epic 35-tweet rant from a friend you don’t want to block seems like a good plan to me. Just remember to un-mute them later (maybe).