Twitter 'Circle' test limits tweets to close friends

You wouldn't have to share posts with all of your followers.

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You might not have to tweet to all your followers (or the public) in the future. Twitter is testing a "Circle" feature that lets you limit tweets to a group of as many as 150 people. It's a not-so-subtle parallel to Instagram's Close Friends — you can ask for advice or share a personal event without unwelcome commentary.

The company told Engadget Circle is already available to a "small group" of Android, iOS and web users worldwide. It's not yet clear if or when Twitter might expand the test to a wider audience, although that will likely hinge on feedback.

Circle joins a number of features meant to control the reach of Twitter posts, including an option to restrict who can reply. It could help Twitter compete with Instagram and other services that let you be more selective about content sharing, and might help you protect your privacy without resorting to direct messages or a small follower list.

At the same time, there is a concern Circle might exacerbate echo chambers. If you frequently limit discussions to a small clique, you might be less inclined to tweet to a larger crowd or see what your more distant connections are saying. Even so, more granularity might be appreciated at a time when it's all too easy to be overwhelmed.