Yesterday Twitter rolled out a new feature aimed at watering down the website’s blocking feature, so that blocked users would no longer be prevented from seeing the blocker’s profile. In addition, the blocked user would also be able to tweet replies to the blocker, though these would never been seen by the blocker (though they would be seen by others). In a nutshell, the ‘block’ feature became more of a ‘mute’ feature, intending to hide activity rather than prevent it.
As expected, a huge backlash was triggered by disgruntled users who were unhappy with the new changes (check out https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RestoreTheBlock) . Given the number of abusive internet trolls who seem to lurk on Twitter, it’s no surprise that the Twitter user-base reacted so strongly. What’s interesting is that Twitter listened to the criticism and actually rolled back the change – not only that, but they did so within a day. Over the years many social media website have produced ‘unpopular’ changes, but with the recent floatation of both Facebook and Twitter, it’s interesting to see how much more cautious both of these companies have become. Twitter is by no means finished tinkering with the ‘blocked users’ issue, but for now the status quo will remain. Quite how it will change in the future is anyone’s guess, but one thing is clear: when unhappy users start to affect the share price, the guys at the top start to listen.