Twitter will put options to limit replies directly on the compose screen



Speaking at a CES event in Las Vegas, Twitter’s director of product management, Suzanne Xie, unveiled some new changes that are coming to the platform this year, focusing specifically on conversations. 

Xie says Twitter is adding a new setting for “conversation participants” right on the compose screen. It has four options: “Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.” Global lets anybody reply, Group is for people you follow and mention, Panel is people you specifically mention in the tweet, and Statement simply allows you to post a tweet and receive no replies. (No word on whether Statement also automatically formats your tweet as a classic iPhone Notes app apology, but it should.)
Xie says that Twitter is “in the process of doing research on the feature” and that “the mock ups are going to be part of an experiment we’re going to run” in the first quarter. It will take learnings from that experiment and use them to launch the feature globally later this year.


“Getting ratio’d, getting dunked on, the dynamics that happen that we think aren’t as healthy are definitely part of ... our thinking about this,” Xie says. When asked if there’s a concern if the ability to limit replies could mean misinformation couldn’t be as easily rebutted, Xie gestured to the ability to quote tweet as one possible resolution, but it’s “something we’re going to be watching really closely as we experiment.” 
It’s an important feature, one my colleague Casey Newton characterizes as the “narrowcasting” of tweets. Just as Facebook has been pushing users to use its private groups feature, Twitter wants to give users the option to limit the spread of their tweets. Twitter’s solution is a more interesting middle ground between public and private, focused on the distribution of the tweet instead of permissions to see it.
Another feature that’s coming is a specific conversation view, including threading. The goal is to put all of a conversation “on one screen.” The screen has lines meant to easily lead you through replies and also call out specific authors.
Xie says that the conversation interface that was initially trialed in the “little t” public prototype beta app will come to the main Twitter app in the coming months.