Twitter announced that they’re testing out new functionality that will allow users to create private circles of friends on Twitter. These circles, which can hold up to 1,000 people per circle, will allow users to create their own groups based on various factors like geographical location, mutual interests or shared experiences and will also let them tailor who sees what content. If you’re one of the lucky few Twitter users to get access to this update, here are three things you should know about it. Twitter Circle: The New Way to Connect with Friends

What Are Twitter Circles?

Twitter Circles are a new way for you to segment your followers into specific groups. These groups can be anything you want, such as companies or organizations, people who live in certain places or individuals who share common interests. Twitter is making it easier than ever for users to filter their information and experience on Twitter by allowing them to group their followers and then tailor what they see based on those categories. With Twitter Circles, you’ll be able see Tweets from all of your friends together at once, but also have a separate stream of Tweets from people you aren’t connected with but are interested in following based on one particular category.

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How Do You Use Them?

Twitter Circles are designed to help you connect and share information on Twitter. Instead of just following specific people or brands, you can group them together in a circle. You’ll have permission to see everything in that circle but they won’t be able to see what’s going on inside your network. Twitter allows you to make up to five circles and even assign custom names for each one. In theory, it’s a great way for businesses—like restaurants or sports teams—to create their own networks of fans and customers.

Twitter Circle: The New Way to Connect with Friends
Twitter Circle: The New Way to Connect with Friends

Will I Have To Re-Opt In?

It’s unclear if you will have to re-opt in. If Twitter requires you to resubmit your request, it may not be a huge deal. If they don’t, though, Twitter could end up spamming tons of users without their knowledge and without letting them opt out. At best, that would mean annoyed friends who didn’t realize they’d been opted in; at worst, it could mean private chats ending up on public timelines. Re-submitting your request won’t take more than a few minutes, but it’s an annoyance many people will likely want to avoid.

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Who Can See Your Tweets?

It used to be that you could follow people but they couldn’t follow you back. That meant, if you wanted your tweets to reach more than your initial followers, it was up to them whether or not they followed you. Recently, Twitter made a change so that anyone who follows you can also see your tweets. As we already mentioned in our previous post about why it’s a good idea for brands and businesses to interact on Twitter, being able to see who follows you helps encourage engagement. This new change will only help improve those interactions and make them more reciprocal for both users.

Is the Opt-In Process Easy?

Twitter’s goal is, at least in part, to help people discover new accounts and interesting content. One easy way for Twitter to do that is through opt-in circles—that is, giving users a handful of accounts and suggesting they follow them all. In other words, if you subscribe to two social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, wouldn’t it be nice if you could follow those same folks on Twitter? This would not only be convenient for you but also a great way for brands or businesses who are using both platforms (or even just one) to engage directly with their fans.

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How Do I Get on Board If I Am Already a User?

Twitter has already been introducing small updates that seem like simple cosmetic changes, but are actually very convenient and can help make Twitter more useful. Twitter Circle is just another one of these updates. But you may be wondering how to use it if you’re already a Twitter user. The process for using Twitter Circle is really simple, which makes it even more appealing. You’ll notice a new option in your top navigation bar titled Circles where you can add your friends into groups and then choose what kind of information you’d like them to see from you on Twitter, or opt out altogether if they’re not someone important enough to share content with regularly. Once you’ve created circles, it’s easy to turn them on or off at any time.

What if I Want to Leave a Circle?

If you have a group of friends or people you follow on Twitter, but don’t want them to see your tweets—or vice versa—there’s an easy way around it. Click on your profile icon and click Turn off Tweet notifications from others or Stop following people. Voilà! You’ll still be able to view their profile, photos, and whatever else is going on in their world—but they won’t know about any of your updates. And if you decide that having one less follower will make for a lonely day, just go back through those steps and re-join as many circles as you like. Twitter Circle: The New Way to Connect with Friends

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