Twitter is testing a new feature called Flock, that will seemingly allow you to tweet to followers in a closed group.
Social networks are, by their very nature, largely shared social experiences. But there are also options available on different platforms that make it possible to limit who can see what you post. On the likes of Facebook, this is a simple matter of configuring your audience to anything from making content public – meaning anyone can see things – to limiting viewing to a number of named individuals.
On Twitter, there aren’t many options when it comes to controlling who can see your tweets. Unless you block individual users or restrict your account so it is only visible to followers, it is broadly speaking an all-or-nothing approach – but this could be able to change.
Just as Instagram has a feature that makes it possible to share content with a small group of people, we have known for a little while that Twitter is working on something similar. Towards the middle of last year, we learned about Trusted Friends – Twitter’s take on Instagram’s Close Friends – and now more details have started to emerge.
The first thing to note is that there seems to have been a name change. No longer known as Trusted Friends, the feature now appears to be called Twitter Flock. In a screenshot shared on Twitter by mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi, we can see that work has progressed noticeably:
#Twitter continues to work on Twitter Flock by adding an explanation of how it works 👀ℹ️ You can choose up to 150 people to include in your Twitter Flock 👥ℹ️ People won’t be notified if you remove them from the list 🔕 pic.twitter.com/xtGcDiHgxSJanuary 21, 2022
Flocking to the tweets
As you can see from the screenshot taken from the iOS version of the Twitter app, your Flock is a group that can include up to 150 people. Anything you post to or share with your Flock can only be seen by those people, and only members of the Flock will be able to reply to tweets.
Privacy is a key feature of Twitter Flock. Not only does the feature mean that users will be able to limit who is able to see and interact with content, but Twitter also points out that “people won’t be notified if you remove them from your Twitter Flock” – helping to avoid the need to awkward explanations!
For the time being, Twitter is keeping its cards close to its chest about the feature. The company is essential neither confirming nor denying what Flock is exactly, saying to the Verge that it is “always working on new ways to help people engage in healthy conversations, and we’re currently exploring ways to let people share more privately.”
The company goes on to say: “We don’t have any further news to share about the feature at this time, but we can confirm that the name ‘Twitter Flock’ is just a placeholder.”