UPDATE: Jul. 7, 2022, 2:19 p.m. AEST This story was first published in May 2022 when the Circle feature test was announced. As of July 7, Twitter has begun offering Circle setup to a wider group of users, but not all — leading to widespread commentary on the platform. Just like a Twitter Circle itself, it seems either you’re in, or you’re out.
Look, not everyone needs to see all of your tweets all of the time.
On Tuesday, Twitter announced a new feature which lets users tweet exclusively to pre-selected followers. Dubbed “Twitter Circle,” the limited test is being run globally and appears designed for instances where users explicitly don’t want their content to go viral.
“Some Tweets are for everyone & others are just for people you’ve picked,” explained Twitter. “We’re now testing Twitter Circle, which lets you add up to 150 people who can see your Tweets when you want to share with a smaller crowd.”
According to a company spokesperson, as of now Twitter Circle is only available for a “small group of people.”
Notably, Twitter has put in place restrictions on what can be done with tweets once they’ve been launched into the Circle.
“People in your Twitter Circle can’t use the Retweet icon to share your Twitter Circle Tweets on Twitter, or in their own Twitter Circle,” reads the Twitter Circle FAQ. “Please remember that your Twitter Circle members can still download, capture and / or re-share images or screenshots of your Twitter Circle content.”
Twitter has tested variations on this theme before. Super Follows, which the social media giant began testing in June of 2021, lets people charge for access to exclusive content. Communities, which Twitter starting testing in September of 2021, allows users to coalesce around specific topics or interests.
Twitter Circle, with its emphasis on limited sharing, is yet another acknowledgement that users’ tweets are not always intended for 100 percent of their followers. Sometimes, after all, you and your Twitter friends need a place to talk shit in relative peace.