Twitter might be testing an escape hatch for users who don’t want to be part of a thread. On Friday, writer and researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted an apparent screenshot of a new “leave this conversation” feature. As described in the screenshot, the feature would untag your username from a Twitter conversation, prevent people from mentioning you in the conversation again, and stop you from receiving notifications about it. (You can still see the thread.)
The feature looks different from “mute this conversation,” an existing option that turns off notifications for a thread you’re mentioned in. According to a followup tweet, leaving the conversation will make your Twitter handle appear as plain text in the tweet where you’re mentioned, rather than the hyperlink someone would normally see if they tap your Twitter handle. That could add friction that discourages other users from pulling you into ancillary conversations and signal that you’re not interested in participating.
As usual, Twitter declined to confirm whether it’s testing the feature in an email to The Verge. But the company has steadily introduced subtle ways to control how other users engage with your account. That includes tweaks that simplify existing options like forcing a user to unfollow you, as well as limits to replies and notifications when an account with lots of followers has retweeted you. This feature would fall on the more dramatic end of the spectrum — but also add an option lots of users might appreciate when tagged in an irritating thread.