Unlike the block function, which is designed to stop communications with an undesirable user completely, muting is intended to be temporary. The mute function will mean that users can block out people who, for example, live tweet football matches every weekend, or post spoilers for popular TV shows such as Game of Thrones. The user remains muted until you manually unmute them.
The mute function is already available in Tweetdeck, the Twitter client that the company bought in 2011, and it is said to be among the most popular features there.
Some Twitter users have reported seeing a mute option pop up next to their block or report options in their iOS apps this week.
Twitter has not commented specifically on its plans for the mute feature.
But in a blog post about “Experiments @ Twitter,” the company said:
“You may see some features that your friend doesn’t see, or vice-versa. This is all in service of making Twitter the best it can be. We appreciate your help in doing that, so thank you.”
Third-party Twitter clients have long supported muting. Tweetbot, for example, lets you mute accounts for various lengths of time; a day, a week, a month, or forever. It also lets you mute entire apps, so that, for example, you never have to see another Foursquare check-in on Twitter ever again. Twitter’s experiment, however, doesn’t take muting quite that far.
Twitter has recently revamped the profile page, and was criticized for mimicking the look of Facebook.