Re: Twitter pilots new 'Circle Jerk' feature that lets users tweet to select group

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Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley joins the Live show to discuss
Twitter’s new ‘Circle’ feature.

Video Transcript
[MUSIC PLAYING]

AKIKA FUJITA: Twitter is testing the waters with a new feature
that gives users the option to share their tweets amongst a
select group of people. For a deeper dive on this, let's bring
in Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley. Twitter Circle is what we're
talking about.

DAN HOWLEY: Twitter Circle. You need more confusion on Twitter
because it's not confusing enough. And that might be why there's
not a lot of people on there. But to give you an idea of what
Twitter Circle is, think of it as a smaller version of Twitter,
right?

It's basically meant-- it's in testing right now. It's for iOS,
Android, web. They'll give you an invite if you manage to sneak
in. Or you can tell if you're on when you go to draft a tweet
and it asks you if you want to send it to a smaller group of
folks. Basically, what it is, is you can invite up to 150
people, or just sign them up to your circle. You can then send
tweets directly to that circle so that if you just want--

AKIKA FUJITA: It kind of feels like WhatsApp.

DAN HOWLEY: Kind of, yeah, right? Exact--

- Or GroupMe?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah.

- It could be like GroupMe.

DAN HOWLEY: Or any, like, other social networks.

[LAUGHING]

And so you'll be able to send out tweets. You can discuss
whatever you want. It will not show up on your main feed. It
will not show up on any of your followers main feeds. They can
retweet you, but only those tweets-- or those tweets will only
show up in the circle.

- Right.

DAN HOWLEY: So it'll never leave that area unless someone
screenshots it or copy and pastes it or whatever. So it's meant
to be a place where you can feel more comfortable talking, I
guess. But, you know, I mean, I don't know what I would say on
Twitter that I wouldn't really say outside of it.

- So I guess the use case for this is if it's large enough of a
community that you couldn't have just an iMessage group or a
text message thread. But it also has to be small enough that you
wouldn't just rely on Reddit or any other type of board to do
this. So do you think this is going to catch on? Because look,
we all remember Fleets, which I-- which, for the record, I was a
huge fan of. Super disappointing they killed it.

AKIKA FUJITA: I mean, it was such a short-lived feature.

- It was-- It was as fleeting as the product itself.

AKIKA FUJITA: Well, I mean, I wasn't-- it's too easy. I wasn't
going to go there. Yeah.

DAN HOWLEY: Look, I do think that there's-- there's some utility
here. I don't think that it's going to be a major product for
Twitter. And look, when Elon Musk comes in, you know, he might
just say, I don't know. This is dumb. We'll get rid of it.

So it may or may not last long. But my thinking is, you know,
I'm playing a game called "Elden Ring" right now, right? If I
want to talk exclusively about "Elden Ring," I can invite a
bunch of people, and then we could just chat about it, you know,
and I can--

- But there's Discord.

DAN HOWLEY: That's true. But I don't like Discord. I don't want
to talk to people. I don't want that. I want to just be able to
write to them. Don't talk to me.

AKIKA FUJITA: By the way, I saw a photo the other day of
somebody holding a sign that said, Elon, bring Vine back, which
I think a lot of people would be on board with. This idea,
though, you know, when you think back to what social media was--
right? I mean, obviously, Facebook started with colleges. But
something like Twitter, it was about connecting with people that
you don't know.

DAN HOWLEY: Right, on a smaller scale.

AKIKA FUJITA: You can connect with somebody on the other side of
the world. And it feels like because of the environment on
social media today, we're all turning inward again.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, I mean, look, I think that this kind of
feature is interesting in that it does allow you to connect with
people of similar interests, right? I think that for Twitter,
especially, I've said-- I said it yesterday. Twitter is just a
vast hellscape, right? And I-- I try to avoid it as much as
possible, except for work.

But, you know, if I had something like this where I could set up
a couple of circles for just friends, you know-- I have WhatsApp
groups already. But, you know, if I wanted to have people that
I'm not necessarily super close with, I could set up a circle
and then discuss things with them.

Here's the weird thing, though. Someone can add you, and you
can't leave the circle.

- Oh, interesting.

DAN HOWLEY: Right? So you have to then mute the circle, which I
don't really appreciate. The other thing is that you can just
kick someone out if you want, and they'll never know. So it
seems--

- Do people see if you're in a circle?

DAN HOWLEY: They can't see if you're in a circle that other
people aren't a part of. So you can see other people retweeting.

AKIKA FUJITA: It is about always being able to quietly back out.

- Well, I mean, you know.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, it's the exclusiveness, right? And you can--
you can say, you know, OK, I'm part of a circle. I tweet
something or retweet something within the circle. I can see
other people that retweet it, but I can't know exactly who else
is in that circle with me. So it's-- it's very strange. It seems
like kind of a half-baked idea at this point. But I do see that
the utility of it to a degree.

AKIKA FUJITA: Well, the idea being that Twitter still wants
people on the platform, but not necessarily experience the
hellscape that you have described--

- The landos, the eggs.

AKIKA FUJITA: --on the platform.

- Yeah

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah.

AKIKA FUJITA: I actually would argue that-- I mean, maybe my
Twitter feed is more curated than yours. Because I--

DAN HOWLEY: Mine is a wreck.

AKIKA FUJITA: I would much rather have tweets and read tweets
from people I don't know. Because to me, that opens it up to
other conversation.

- And that brings up, like, is this going to silo things
further. But, you know, it's an interesting product. We'll see
if it sticks. For what it's worth, I'm going to start a, "The
Batman" was actually bad--

DAN HOWLEY: Whoa!

- --circle. Yep.

DAN HOWLEY: I'm out of here.

- And you're not-- you're not invited, Dan Howley.

DAN HOWLEY: I'm leaving.

https://news.yahoo.com/twitter-pilots-circle-feature-lets-
160616248.html

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May 20, 2022, 1:40:02 AMMay 20
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