Independent Thinking Blog

Twitter Rolls Out a Mute Button

Twitter is rolling out a new feature: a Twitter mute button that lets you remove someone’s tweets from your stream without having to unfollow them.

A lot of people are all atwitter about this. Me? Not so much.

Forget mute. Think filters instead.

The Twitter mute button is akin to the “Hide” feature in Facebook that lets you keep the “friend” but ignore the friendship. The hide feature, of course, also lets you filter out certain types of updates (e.g., Mafia Wars and Farmville).

We’ve had a Twitter filtering capability via TweetDeck and third-party apps for a long time. For example, I’ve long excluded Foursquare updates. I’ve also been known to filter out #SXSW tweets. Meanwhile, Twitter lists let you “filter in” people in different categories (e.g., local folks, smart business people, friends) so that you can better pay attention to the people you most want to engage with.

Mute is not a filter. It’s a blunt instrument. 

While the Twitter mute button might occasionally be useful, mostly it begs the question: Why are you still following these people?

Photo by erokism (Flickr).

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