Twitter announced on its company blog today that it will be rolling out a new feature in the coming weeks called mute, which basically means you can follow a person while not receiving any of that individual’s Tweets or Retweets in your timeline. You’ll also be opted out of any SMS or push notifications when the muted user Tweets. And, in the obligatory name of privacy, the muted user will not know that they have been muted or if you decide to unmute them.
This begs the glaringly obvious question: what is the point? If you’re following someone it’s because you have an interest in that person or what they do, either from a personal or professional standpoint. Given that, what is the value of the mute feature? It comes off almost like a “soft-block” where you’re following someone maybe as a courtesy or so as not to offend them, but you’re not really following them.
I think Twitter is a wonderful platform with a myriad of uses and ton of potential, one need not look further than when there is any breaking news story, the rate of information flow and sharing on Twitter far outpaces any other medium. So to spend time and effort on a mute feature seems silly to me when there are far better causes to put those resources toward.