If you’ve been avoiding Twitter due to the quality of tweets you see, you may have a new reason to give it another try. Twitter just added two new filters to help users avoid tweets they’d rather not see.
One of the best features of Twitter is its ability to act as a public billboard. Want to get the attention of a business? Sending a tweet that mentions their @name often works better than a call to customer service. Want to reach out to a famous person? Tweet them with their @TwitterID and you may get their attention.
But not all mentions are positive. Twitter can become a cesspool of hate if users turn against someone. While corporations may suffer through the embarrassing public relations consequences, individuals often turn and run. To protect themselves from harassment, hate and ugly tweets, people leave Twitter and/or close their accounts. See, Celebrity Cafe Top 10 celebrities who have quit Twitter.
Some people refuse even to join Twitter because of fear of animosity. A common refrain is, “I don’t want to be on Twitter because of all the hate.” Others have difficulty finding meaningful tweets to read.
Short of everyone on Twitter acting respectfully (because that just isn’t going to happen), or the Twitter police reviewing all tweets before they’re posted (that’s not happening either and probably shouldn’t), Twitter has come up with a different solution.
On Thursday Twitter announced two filters to help people improve the quality of the tweets they see. These new filters give users greater control over which tweets they see.
Twitter has added a filter to help you control what you see in the Notifications section.
The Notifications section of Twitter shows you when others are interacting with you, including:
- tweets that mention your @TwitterID
- tweets you’ve sent that others have liked
- tweets you’ve sent that others have retweeted
- new followers of your Twitter account
- Twitter lists you’ve been added to
You can either see all of your notifications or only the ones from people you follow on Twitter. By turning on the Notifications filter, you’ll only see notifications from people you follow on Twitter and you won’t see any notifications from people you don’t follow.
By using the Notifications filter, you’ll experience Twitter in a virtual bubble. If anyone tweets something you don’t like, unfollow them and you won’t see their mentions.
But by filtering these tweets you also won’t be alerted when you’re being mentioned by accounts you don’t follow. Their tweets may be ones you want to see and you may be missing out.
You can always turn off the filter if you change your mind and want to see all notifications.
Twitter also added a second filter that it has been testing for months. Previously only available to verified Twitter accounts, the Quality filter is supposed to make the tweets you see more meaningful.
According to Twitter, this “filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with.”
Turning Twitter Filters On
To turn Twitter filters on, go to the Notifications section of the Twitter app. Look for the gear icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
You’ll see two toggle switches, one for the Notifications filter and one for the Quality filter. Experiment with the filters to see which view of Twitter you prefer. You may like one, both or none.
— Twitter Support (@Support) August 18, 2016
Twitter filters can also be turned on from the website. Go to Notifications and click Settings. Turn on the filters you want to use and then click Save Settings.
You may not see the Settings option in the Notifications section of the website. Instead, you may see tabs to control whether you see all notifications or only notifications from people you follow.
Twitter says that these filters will continue to be developed and improve over time.
Do you like the idea of filtering Twitter? Would you rather see better quality tweets? Do you worry about missing out on seeing tweets that are filtered?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Twitter spoon image (edited) courtesy of Blogtrepreneur via Flickr and Creative Commons