Twitter released their latest feature tweak to everyone this morning with the Mute button.
Understandably this started the debate around how it differs from just unfollowing someone, with most agreeing that it’s a temporary way to remove someone from the feed. The problem I foresee with temporarily muting is forgetting to turn it back on. Unless it’s a strong connection, then there is every chance it will slip your mind and that person will remain hidden.
Where it needs to evolve to in order to be a truly useful feature is being able to mute at a conversational level. There are a number of apps already doing this (such as TweetBot), but this is only at the mobile level.
Now that we’re talking about a true cross device feature, Twitter has the opportunity to really make an impact on the way people manage their feeds.
As an example, given the strong connection Twitter has around sports and television, being able to mute hashtags or keywords, and being able to set the period which they would be muted for, would minimise the chance of spoilers.
When it comes to breaking news, the feed can be narrowed to a smaller number of outlets to prevent a feed of the same story.
For brands, in my view the mute function’s impact is the same as an unfollow, so being able to mute campaign based activity that uses a specific hashtag or during certain periods of time, and automating the process of when that applies gives a chance of still being a useful voice in the feed.
Photo – dgies