Twitter considering new ‘Trusted Friends’ feature

Twitter is considering new features that could help users keep their private and professional lives separate — including one that would allow people to limit who sees certain tweets.

The concept, dubbed “Trusted Friends,” would allow users to send tweets to a select group of friends or followers only.

It’s similar to Instagram’s “Close Friends” feature for Stories, in that users would no longer have to switch accounts to tweet at their intended audience.

Another concept for a new feature, “Facets,” would let people take on different personas using the same account. Others would be able to follow the entire account, or just the “facet” they are interested in.

The two early ideas were shared Thursday by @a_dsgnr, the account of Twitter designer Andrew Courter.

“We hear y’all, toggling your Tweets from public to protected, juggling alt accounts. It could be simpler to talk to who you want, when you want,” Courter wrote. “With Trusted Friends, you could Tweet to a group of your choosing. Perhaps you could also see trusted friends’ Tweets first.” 

In another tweet, the designer wrote, “Here’s another approach, embracing an obvious truth: we’re different people in different contexts (w/ friends, fam, work, public) Facets, an early idea, lets you Tweet from distinct personas within 1 acct. Others can follow the whole acct … or just Facets they’re interested in.”

Twitter users generally appeared to respond positively to the ideas, but also voiced some concerns and ideas of their own.

In this photo illustration a Twitter logo is seen displayed in front of the silhouettes of toy people.
Twitter designer Andrew Courter tweeted about the potential changes.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

“I really like this Facets idea actually. It would allow people to only follow you for what they’re interested in. But I fear that having to choose Facets each time you Tweet will become a hassle and seem overly complicated sometimes,” one person responded.

“I think both are good ideas, but if I could only pick one, the trusted friends concept would win hands down,” another user replied. “Of course, the ideas could be combined by allowing the user to limit the visibility of certain facets to trusted friends.”