All users got tweet reply controls back in August, and now, Twitter is reportedly working on an option that would let users limit tweet replies to their followers only. This news got shared by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong:
These are the current options:
- Everyone - The default, public Tweet option
- People you follow - Limiting your replies to only those you follow
- Only people you mention - The @handles that you've specifically noted in your tweet
The new addition would add a new option: 'Your followers only.' The idea behind that would be giving users another way to manage the tweet narrative, essentially controlling the discussion. That would help to weed out spammers and the trolls and would likely promote more focused chats.
The author here speculates that Twitter could go even further, providing ways to limit discussions entirely to your followers - actually taking the option to join in the discussion off non-followers' timelines. However, the conclusion is that doing so wouldn't be much different from running a private account, so it's probably not practical to go that far.
Most business profiles are going to desire the ability to make the vast bulk of their tweets public; however, the option to make some discussions completely private might be a benefit too. It's likely that limiting who can reply is as far as this update will ever go, but it'll be interesting to see if that remains the case forever. I guess it comes down to what the brands themselves want?