Earlier in April this year, Twitter had announced its plans to experiment with a new feature that will allow users to hide replies to their tweets. The feature was supposed to go live in June after being revealed in February this year. Twitter has now announced that will start rolling out the new feature to users in Canada from next week. This is the first time Twitter will let users exercise control over replies to their tweets.
Twitter has been internally testing the feature for some time now. To let users hide replies to their tweets, Twitter will enable a new 'hide reply' option. The new feature will not actually remove any tweets. Instead, it will simply hide them from the default view. Users who wish to see the hidden replies to the tweet can tap on a grey icon to see them.
In an announcement, via a blog post, Twitter said it understands that "distracting, irrelevant, and offensive" replies can be harmful for most users, derailing them from the main discussion. Twitter also revealed how the feature will work using animated GIFs.
While people in Canada will be able to hide replies to their tweets, others around the world will be able to see and engage with hidden replies by tapping a grey icon that will appear alongside tweet details.
Twitter says that by starting the feature in a single country, it'll have enough feedback to understand how the new feature should work in other countries. The company will tweak the feature based on the feedback it receives from users.
The new hide replies feature will remain in testing over the next few weeks. Twitter is inviting everyone to share their feedback on the new tool. Twitter has been going through a lot of criticism lately over its inability to fight abuse and spam on its platform.
The announcement comes on a day that began with a Twitter outage in several countries this morning. Twitter was quick to resolve the issue though.