By its own admission Twitter experiments with at least one new feature each and every day (recent highlights have included a significant engagement metric and a new signup process) and while most of these are simply that – experiments – some do move out of the beta process and become system-wide.
One of Twitter’s latest ventures is a tool that’s long been part of a number of third-party Twitter apps but has never been incorporated within Twitter’s core: a mute button.
As usual, the functionality has been made available to a small subset of users so Twitter can test how it performs (and is received) in the wild. Here’s a delightfully apt* screenshot:
The mute differs from the block in that it only temporarily removes a user’s updates from your timeline, usually for a chosen period of time. It’s useful because sometimes a person you follow is updating at a frequency which is jarring or about a topic that is of no interest, and while you don’t want to lose them forever (i.e., unfollow or block) it would be nice to push them to one side for now (i.e., get them to shut up without hurting their feelings). That’s where the mute comes in.
TweetBot, Tweetlogix and even the Twitter-owned TweetDeck all support a mute feature, but it’s never been something that’s been available on the official Twitter platform and apps until now. As is the case with all of these experiments, whether it will become an option for everybody remains to be seen.
* You can immediately see where it would come in handy.