So this is one of the most commented news of past few days. Twitter will officially launch an option to mute someone on Twitter. I’ve read already some opinions about it: Some people think this feature will be widely used and some others don’t. But what’s the use for it?
First of all, you need to know that there were actually other applications that made the same function as the new muting option. But now that Twitter decided to make it an in-house option, it’s way more accessible to “normal” people who doesn’t use Twitter management tools (And not because they are expensive! There’s a lot of useful Free Twitter Tools out there)
Anyway, my opinion is that this option will be used quite a lot. Which is a bit ironic as we are changing “social world” into a less social one. But I feel it’s needed.
For understanding this new feature and its utility, you need to compare it to the current options that Twitter have.
Unfollowing Vs Blocking Vs Mute someone on Twitter
If you unfollow an account then you won’t see any of their Tweets in your Twitter feed. If they follow you, then you’ll be able to send them DM but they won’t be able to reply. Notifications will still work if you have them on, so if they RT or mention you, you’ll know.
Will they know? Most likely. Even though there’s not any notification, every management tool has this feature to know who unfollowed you. You can even know if you go to your followers list and realize they’re not there anymore.
Similar to Unfollowing but with some extra restrictions. Aside from not seeing their Tweets and being unable to send you a DM, notifications about that user won’t show up in your notifications feed. That means that even if they mention you, you won’t see it unless you look for yourself on Twitter search. Also, they won’t be able to Follow you even though they will still be able to see your Tweets. And lastly, they can’t use the “Retweet” feature. If they want to Retweet you, they’ll have to do it manually.
Will they know? Probably not. The only option they’ll know you block them is if they go to your Twitter page and try to RT or Follow you.
Mute someone on Twitter
This is a softer way to disengage from users. You won’t see their Tweets or Retweets in your timeline, though they can still Retweet, reply to or favorite one of your Tweets. In case you’re following them, they can still send you DM. So overall, it just means that none of their activity will appear in your feed, that’s all.
Will they know? Absolutely not. There’s not even one way to know, and I doubt there will be applications being able to tell this.
Is it useful?
Some people think it won’t be useful because they think that if you don’t want someone to be in your Twitter feed, you will just Unfollow them. But I feel that’s not really the situation here. There’s many reasons why people would choose to mute someone on Twitter instead of Unfollowing.
- You actually like that person. So it’s hard for you to Unfollow them, even if you don’t really like their Tweets too much.
- You like a little amount of their Tweets. I have found myself following people who from time to time write great Tweets but they fail most of the times. I will just check their Twitter page from time to time, but I really don’t want to Unfollow them.
- Special events. The most common example would be sports events in which people start Tweeting like crazy about it. If you’re not interested, you might find useful to mute those accounts for a few days.
- People are scared of them Unfollowing back. You know that if you Unfollow them they might know and unfollow you as well. Sometimes you don’t really want that.
- It’s the most secret way of disengaging. They won’t ever know, unlike unfollowing or blocking. I’m sure people will find this useful
If we talk about brands, then I don’t think they will be muted. There’s no point on following a brand if it’s not because they want to know about that brand in particular.
But overall I think people will actually mute someone on Twitter instead of unfollowing them. It’s just too convenient. And by the way, it seems that is still not fully public and only just few users can use it for now. Probably the option to mute someone on Twitter will be available to everyone in a few days.