Twitter announced on Monday that they’re rolling out a new feature that will be available on the Twitter website as well as the iPhone and Android applications. For quite some time, Facebook has featured the ability to ‘hide’ a friend, which allows them to be completely taken off of your timeline without defriending them completely. This allows a Facebook user to not have to see obnoxious or annoying or boring posts without the potential social awkwardness of having to delete someone from your friend list (which is often seen as a personal denouncement).
Twitter’s announcement is the release of a similar feature, known as the mute button. The mute button will allow a Twitter user to stop seeing posts by users that they do not want to hear from; they will no longer receive notifications on their phone from that user and that user’s Tweets and Retweets will not show up in the timeline. A user who has been muted will not be notified that they have been muted, again allowing users to restrict potentially annoying or otherwise unwanted messages to prevent any awkwardness.
This isn’t exactly a brand new feature, however. As the ‘hide’ function has long been popular with Facebook users, certain third-party Twitter clients such as Tweetbot, have allowed mute functions for quite some time, even including the ability to mute specific hashtags and keywords, which is an option that Twitter has not yet made available. Hopefully, in the future, Twitter will continue to expand on this new feature to maximize its usefulness for what Twitter users do and don’t want to see in their timeline.