I don’t care about sports — at all.
And if you’re anything like me, there’s almost nothing worse than skimming Twitter during a major sporting event. It’s full of my friends talking about something I don’t care about, with little context as to what’s actually happening.
I don’t often unfollow people when it happens — even my more annoying, vocal friends — but it usually causes me to ignore Twitter for a while until whatever game is over.
Now, I can shut those chatty friends up for a while without having to unfollow them. Twitter on Monday introduced a muting feature, which keeps you from seeing any Twitter activity from the person you’ve muted.
Think of it as a nice way of avoiding the stuff you aren’t interested in, without dropping a friend entirely. You can unmute that person any time to start seeing their activity once more (like, say, when March Madness is over).
Last year, Twitter tried something similar: changing the “Block” feature so that it didn’t notify blocked people of your action and allowed them to see your tweets. The logic, which made sense at the time, was that some users blocked Internet trolls and stalkers on Twitter only to see them reappear with stronger harassment under an alternate handle. This alternate form of blocking was a way to keep them from that type of harassment. But it was not well received, and the company quickly undid the changes.
I’d guess that today’s mute button, then, is a compromise on that front: It’s a way to hush the troll and annoying friends without antagonizing them, while still keeping the mighty block feature as an option.
Or more simply, it’s just a good way to keep from seeing far too many sports tweets.