According to Bloomberg, Twitter is planning new features to give users more privacy options. According to reports, the social network’s plans include the ability to archive old tweets so that they are no longer visible to other users after a certain period of time (like 30, 60, or 90 days or a full year). They also include potential options for limiting who can see which tweets you’ve liked, allowing people to remove themselves from a Twitter conversation, and allowing people to remove followers without outright blocking them.
Bloomberg describes the new features as a set of “social privacy” changes aimed at making people feel more at ease when using Twitter. According to internal Twitter research, many users don’t even know whether their accounts are set to public or private, which the company will begin asking users to review in September.
The New Modifications Would Replace Features Such ‘Soft Blocking’
Some of the changes have no timetable, and the archive option, in particular, is in the “concept phase,” according to Bloomberg. However, Twitter is reportedly planning to start allowing people to remove themselves from conversations by the end of the year, as well as allowing people to remove followers (rather than soft blocking them) starting this month.
Twitter confirmed the news to The Verge in a statement. “Privacy is more than what we do with your data at Twitter; it’s also about how we help you feel safe and in control of how you show up on Twitter,” a spokesperson said. “Because we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to privacy, we are excited to roll out more features and tools that will allow people on Twitter to customize their experience. Our emphasis on social privacy is inspired by feedback from a global research study we conducted to better understand people’s perceptions of and needs for privacy around the world. We plan to start testing some of these features as early as next week.”
The upcoming changes follow a flurry of other recent Twitter updates. Over the past year, the company has experimented with monetization features such as ticketed audio rooms, which began rolling out last week, and subscription-based “Super Follows,” which debuted in the United States yesterday.
According to Bloomberg, the privacy changes are a replication of some clumsy workarounds that many users have already adopted, such as external services that delete tweets after a certain period of time. This contrasts with Twitter’s Fleets, an expiring message tool that was discontinued after eight months of low usage.