Twitter is hopping on the close friends bandwagon. The company announced plans for a feature it's calling Twitter Circle on Tuesday, which will allow users to make certain tweets available only to a "smaller crowd."
In Twitter's case, a "smaller crowd" is up to 150 people. Users will be able to add both followers and non-followers to the list of accounts that can see specific tweets, Twitter Safety said in a tweet. The feature is is still in "early stages" and only open to a limited number of users, according to Twitter's Help Center. For now, Twitter users can only have one Circle, but they're welcome to cycle members in and out at any point. Users added to a Twitter Circle also aren't allowed to leave, but they can mute the conversation.
Anyone that's invited to a Twitter Circle can interact with tweets, and replies are only available to users within the Circle. Though users in Twitter Circles can see tweets sent to the group, they can't retweet them. The feature allows users to have privacy without needing to make their entire account private.
Allowing for more intimate posts has become a hallmark of social media platforms. Instagram added Close Friends stories in 2018, and Snapchat added private stories in 2019. TikTok also has a friends only option for short-form videos. Facebook offers a variety of ways to parse friends via lists.
The close friends phenomenon followed the era of the "finsta," or fake Instagram, where users would post more candidly than they would on their public Instagram pages. To adapt, social media companies gave users the ability to post for small groups of followers on their public accounts. On Twitter, the feature will allow users to say what they want to a more intimate group while still maintaining a public account, potentially sparing users from harassment.
Twitter has long been working on its Close Friends clone. Rumors first swirled that Twitter was considering the feature last July, first called "Trusted Friends" then later called "Flock." Now, it appears to have closed the circle.