Muted Tweets: Update Allows Users To Reduce Unwanted Twitter Posts
May 13, 2014

Muted Tweets: Update Allows Users To Reduce Unwanted Twitter Posts

Peter Suciu for - Your Universe Online

Social media doesn't stand still. In recent months Twitter has added new features including the ability to tag people in photos and even tested an option to allow users to see tweets nearby sources.

On Monday the micro-blogging service announced a new feature that could reduce the constant barrage of tweets without the need to unfollow someone. This can be especially helpful when following a friend or family member -- including those who don't realize that every mundane event isn't worthy of a tweet -- yet you don't want to come across as rude by unfollowing him or her.

As noted on Cnet on Monday, Facebook users have been able to remove people from their News Feeds but Twitter has lacked an official option to stop the insanity. The only option has been third-party apps, which allowed for a "mute" feature that would remove tweets from specific users, or those tweets that contained specific hashtags and keywords.

Now Twitter has announced that it is officially adding a mute function.

"We're beginning to introduce a new account feature called mute to people who use our iPhone and Android apps and Mute gives you even more control over the content you see on Twitter by letting you remove a user’s content from key parts of your Twitter experience," Paul Rosania, Twitter product manager, posted on the company's official blog. "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.

"Muting a user on Twitter means their Tweets and Retweets will no longer be visible in your home timeline, and you will no longer receive push or SMS notifications from that user," Rosania added. "The muted user will still be able to fave, reply to, and retweet your Tweets; you just won’t see any of that activity in your timeline. The muted user will not know that you’ve muted them, and of course you can unmute at any time."

This new feature is now being rolled out to Twitter's mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, and once it has been activated users can access it by viewing a user's profile and selecting "Mute." This feature can also be accessed via the Twitter website. According to Twitter, muted users won't actually know that their tweets have been removed from a timeline.

After muting someone the mute icon will be displayed next to the settings gear -- when red the person is muted, and when grey the person is not muted. Despite being muted, notifications will still come through if the muted person sends a direct message, mention or a favorite tweet.

This isn't the first time, however, that Twitter has tried to allow users to "silence" those they're following. Back in December the company made a quick change to "block" some tweets but quickly undid those changes.

"We made a change to the way the 'block' function of Twitter works," Michael Sippey, VP of product at Twitter, posted in a blog in December. "We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users – we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect."

Perhaps this time the muting option will stick, and without hurt feelings or blocking retaliation.