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Twitter's Latest Feature Could Make Tweeting Less Intimidating

Twitter logo
Twitter Circle will be available globally. 
Sarah Tew/CNET

What's happening

Twitter is rolling out a feature globally called Twitter Circle that lets users tweet to smaller groups.

Why it matters

The feature could make Twitter users feel more comfortable about tweeting and encourage them to spend more time on the platform.

Twitter is rolling out a new feature globally that could make some users feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts online.

Called Twitter Circle, the feature lets users tweet to a smaller group rather than all of their followers. When users compose a tweet, they'll see an option to share a tweet with Everyone or their Twitter Circle. Users can add up to 150 people to their Twitter Circle and edit who is in the group.

The worldwide release of the new tool shows how Twitter is trying to encourage more people to use the platform daily. Twitter started testing Twitter Circle in May, and the company said that some users reported feeling more comfortable tweeting and turned to the feature to communicate with their friends. Using Twitter Circle also meant that they didn't need to use a second account and could avoid switching between protected and public account settings.

Twitter said Tuesday the feature also increased tweeting overall and users reacted more to Twitter Circle tweets with likes and replies.

Other social media platforms such as Instagram also have similar features where you can share posts to a close group of friends. As chatter on social media migrates to more private spaces, there are also concerns about whether this type of content will be tougher to moderate. Users who belong in a Twitter Circle can't retweet these type of posts, but it's still possible for people to screenshot these tweets. Twitter said it's taking in feedback from its partners and online safety experts. 

The social media company is also adding more features amid a tumultuous time. Twitter is in a legal battle with billionaire Elon Musk who is trying to back out of a deal to acquire the company for $44 billion. The company is also facing more scrutiny from lawmakers after its former security chief Peiter "Mudge" Zatko filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Twitter misled regulars and investors about security issues and other problems.

Twitter Circle will be available on Android and Apple devices and on the platform's website. On Tuesday, Twitter said there could be a delay in when some users get access to the new feature.