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Who are you Going to Mute on Twitter?

15th May 2014

Following in Facebook's footsteps, Twitter has now introduced a mute button.

There's plenty of hype about how this will affect brands, and the way they could combat the sneaky mute button. 

Firstly, let's grasp exactly what muting does (besides the slightly obvious):

  • This will stop their tweets and re-tweets from appearing in your feed. However, this will also show any previous re-tweets before the muting.
  • @ replies and @ mentions from users you have muted will still appear in your twitter notifications - so, say you've muted Sarah and she mentions your Twitter friend in a tweet, you'll still see it. (Maybe interesting if you're considering influencer outreach efforts...)

However, should your content be pretty great and popular, it is likely that it will still reach anyone who's muted you anyway!

For example, if Sarah had muted me but I sent out a tweet that was re-tweeted by many - or I posted a blog that was highly shared - then it is likely that Sarah would be following other people who are also following me. If one of them shares my content, Sarah will then see it, as it's a tweet from them, not me. 

Another thing to remember is that if you're using lists or streams for your followers in Hootsuite / Tweetdeck, this can usually get round the issue of tweets you don't want to see anyway, as predictably you have only added people there whose tweets you are actively interested in.

With a lot of people sending out numerous tweets per day and people on average following 208 accounts, it's highly unlikely you actually see so many of these tweets.

Some of us at GWS are personally following around 900 people (on Twitter), and rarely notice half that noise.

There gets a point where it is all a bit much, so the only way to manage that is with beautifully organised, lists. This removes so much unwanted noise that you may not be inclined to mute anyway.

At present, it's fairly unclear how much of an effect the mute function will have on brands, as we don't have any data to prove anything, but the most important thing to remember is if you're posting content that gets shared about the place, you're probably all good as a business, and your outreach is fairly high.

If anything, this change might largely serve as a warning to those individuals or companies that really do just spam our feeds.

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