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5/3/2014
09:06 AM
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Twitter Mute Button Would Muzzle 'That Guy'

You know, the one who overshares about his pets or sends an inspirational quote every five seconds? A Twitter feature in testing could quiet the noise.

Twitter Revamp: 10 Things To Know
Twitter Revamp: 10 Things To Know
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There's one at every workplace, conference, and dinner party: the person who talks too much. Social networks aren't immune to them, either, but Twitter appears to be testing a way to silence them politely.

According to reports, some Twitter for Android and iOS users have seen a mute button that lets you follow someone without seeing that person's posts in your feed. Unlike unfollowing an account, muting someone still lets you receive direct messages from that person and notifications.

Twitter consistently tests new features, so it's unknown whether this option will roll out to more people. In September, Twitter vice president of engineering Alex Roetter said that its testing has picked up, and that it's rare for a day to pass without the company releasing at least one experiment.

[Not everyone gets it right every time. Read Twitter Turns 8: How To Fail In 140 Characters.]

"A common thread across recent releases has been experimentation. We've tested various features with small groups of our 200 million users before determining what we'll release," Roetter said in a blog post. "These tests are essential to delivering the best possible user experience."

Twitter's mute button might be especially useful in situations where someone you follow live tweets an event you're not interested in, if your company requires you to follow coworkers on the social network, or if you're worried about friends spoiling a TV show you haven't yet watched.

Rumors of the new button follow Twitter's controversial move in December to reverse its policy on blocking users. According to the proposed policy, people you block would still be able to see your tweets and follow you. Critics complained, saying the change would allow harassers to continue tracking a person's updates, even if that person had blocked them.

Just hours after introducing the change, Twitter backtracked.

Though the mute button might be new for some mobile users, a number of Twitter applications and third-party clients already support it. Tweetdeck, the Twitter client that Twitter acquired in 2011, features a muting capability, for example, as does the third-party app Tweetbot, which lets users mute accounts for a specific period of time. Tweetbot also lets you mute apps -- handy if you're tired of viewing Foursquare checkins.

Facebook has employed a similar tool to rid your News Feed of talkative friends. Rather than unfriending a contact, Facebook lets you unfollow that contact. Your friend can still message you and view your posts, but it removes that friend's annoying content from your News Feed.

Can the trendy tech strategy of DevOps really bring peace between developers and IT operations -- and deliver faster, more reliable app creation and delivery? Also in the DevOps Challenge issue of InformationWeek: Execs charting digital business strategies can't afford to take Internet connectivity for granted.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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memeweaver
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memeweaver,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2014 | 9:02:57 PM
Re: Good feature to add
A very simple use case is someone live-tweeting an event that you have no interest in, I mute them for 24 hours and all of those uninteresting tweets drop from my feed. 

 

Likewise I follow accounts which have different people tweeting for a week at a time. Some are not so interesting or basically write essays in 140 character chunks. I mute them for a week.

(Using Tweetbot client on iOS which allows different mute periods).

 

Unlike unfollowing I don't have to remember to re-follow them when the boring stream of tweets ends.

 

I also mute based on keywords so that if multiple people are tweeting on something with spoilers or is simply uninteresting I don't see those tweets in my feed.

 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 9:18:19 AM
Re: Good feature to add
I would tend to agree. Even better would be the ability to mute certain kinds of tweets from others but not all tweets from that individual. Would take a lot of text analytics to make it possible, but it would be nice, for me at least.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/5/2014 | 4:54:40 PM
Re: Good feature to add
Likewise, I don't see the point of mute when unfollow is available.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2014 | 11:35:52 AM
Re: Good feature to add
I'd like having the option of a mute button. There may be social or business pressure that makes it politic to follow a certain person or persons, even if you have no interest in their posts. The mute button makes that situation a little easier to live with.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
5/5/2014 | 8:48:18 AM
Re: Good feature to add
I tend to agree. If I don't want to see someone's tweets, I'll just remove them sinceTwitter is more impersonal than a social network like Facebook (though, truthfully, I don't remember when I last unfollowed someone). I can see how this would be useful in certain situations, for example when someone is live-tweeting a conference. Their tweets may still be important to me, but maybe just not that day.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2014 | 9:39:02 PM
Re: Good feature to add
Personally I don't have any use case on social network that needs such kind of mute functionality. If I don't want to see something, just ignore them or unfollow the person, even blacklist him/her. But maybe I am too narrow-minded to skip some essential scenarios.
anon1313835691
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anon1313835691,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2014 | 7:42:21 PM
wow
I barely post something on twitter, most of the time I read the tweets on my wall and sometimes I see stupid posts but is not like I have to sacrifice a whole lot of effort to just keep scrolling to see the following tweet. This feature might be useful for some and useless for others.
Chleo PinT328
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Chleo PinT328,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2014 | 5:24:12 PM
About time!
I think this is still one of the most annoying things on twitter, this has long been due

 

http://fastklix.myinstapage.com/
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
5/3/2014 | 2:16:07 PM
Re: Good feature to add
As a Twitter user, I don't really think that the social network needs a mute button. If I don't want to read someone's Tweets, I just unfollow them. 

Now, that's my use case. There may be a number of other users that are angling for this, and there's nothing wrong with that I suppose. I just don't see myself using a mute button on Twitter. 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
5/3/2014 | 9:35:55 AM
Good feature to add
This is a great feature for Twitter to add to everyone at some point. More options to fine tune your feed and reduce the clutter or social media noise is beneficial.
Social is a Business Imperative
Social is a Business Imperative
The use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
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