Science and Tech


Twitter Testing 'Mute' Button To Block Annoying Followers

Without warning, Twitter tested a new feature for its mobile applications allowing users to "mute" selected Tweeters they follow.
Posted at 8:16 PM, May 02, 2014

Twitter is quietly testing an obviously good idea — muting annoying followers.

Several users like this were puzzled after spotting the new feature in the wild. It clearly “mutes” anyone — even Donald Trump. So why not just unfollow someone instead? The Verge reports, the difference is muting silences all tweets and retweets from the annoying user that clutter your timeline.  However, you’ll still appear as a follower to them.

It’s essentially as if you unfollowed the Tweeter, but in a behind-the-back, sneaky way. The muted user remains silent until you unmute them.

But this is more than just a conflict-avoiding maneuver. PC Mag lists some practical uses for the new option.

Is a colleague's live-tweeting of an event distracting you from your work? Maybe a friend's messages will surely spoil the most recent Mad Men episode before you watch it.”

Keep in mind, mute does not, however, block direct messages or notifications via tagging according to The Next Web.

The “mute” button seems like a lightbulb moment for Twitter, but many other third-party apps have already figured it out.

Tweetbot allows users to mute follows for a specific length of time from only one day, to the end of time. Tweetdeck, which Twitter acquired in 2011, also sports the same capability and is championed by its users.

Multiple tech reporters and Twitter users have seen the option appear on mobile devices only — and specifically iOS and Android clients.

If you've been selected as a tester, the mute option will appear at the top of the settings menu while visiting a user's page. As of Friday there is no word if Twitter is seriously considering muting as a feature.