Twitter to roll out ‘mute’ feature


Twitter users will be seeing a new look on their desktops and laptops soon, one that will look familiar if they also use the app on their smartphones. In a post Monday afternoon, January 13, 2014, Twitter announced “a refreshed reflecting the look & feel of our iOS & Android apps.”

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You know that friend who has an opinion or a joke about everything? Sure, they’re entertaining, but sometimes you wish you could get them to shut up.

Now on Twitter, you can.

Twitter is rolling out a “mute” feature that will let you silence certain users in your feed. Once you’ve muted them, their tweets and retweets will no longer be visible in your timeline, and you won’t receive their push or SMS notifications, although @ replies and mentions will still appear.

“In the same way you can turn on device notifications so you never miss a tweet from your favorite users, you can now mute users you’d like to hear from less,” Twitter said in a blog post late Monday.

The mute function will be available on Twitter’s iPhone and Android apps and its website and will roll out to all Twitter users “in the coming weeks.”

Twitter says muted users will still be able to favorite, reply to and retweet your tweets, but you won’t see any of that activity in your timeline. Muted users you follow can still send you a direct message.

But the muted user won’t know you’ve muzzled them, and you can unmute them at any time.

In this way, the mute tool is similar to Facebook’s feature that lets you hide friends’ updates without unfriending them and, presumably, hurting their feelings.

The change is Twitter’s latest attempt to give its 200 million-plus users greater control over their interactions on the social platform. The company must hope it will be better received than its last similar update.

In December, Twitter tweaked its settings that allow users to block others who harass or annoy them. The change allowed the blocked user to still see the profile and tweets of the person who blocked them and to retweet their posts. But after a furious user backlash, Twitter abruptly reversed itself.

Unlike muted users, blocked users can’t follow you on Twitter.

Some Twitter users were questioning the need for a mute feature Tuesday, saying people should just unfollow users who annoy them.

“I find the #twittermute thing hilarious. It’s just the Internet switch it off and go for a walk!” wrote Stewart Lee, a Web officer for a foundation in the United Kingdom.

Others, of course, just made jokes.

“Forget Klout, now we need a ‘Muzzle’ ranking showing your Follower-Mute ratio,” said Christian Christensen, a university professor in Stockholm.

To mute a user, click “more” next to their tweet and then “mute @username.” To mute someone from their profile page, click the gear icon on the page and choose “mute @username

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