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(Pocket-lint) - Twitter is set to enable you to control replies to tweets further as it continues its battle to improve what it calls “conversational health” on the platform – in other words, preventing people having the opportunity to interject abuse and unwanted comments into conversations.

With the new feature, you’ll be able to restrict the replies to people you follow or stop replies completely. People who are mentioned in tweets can also be set to reply, so you can effectively have a group chat – perhaps discussing a professional topic you want others to see but not give their own input.

The feature builds on the previous launch of the "hide replies" option launched last year. It's been tested in Twitter’s beta app already and will be coming to the main Twitter app very soon. Conversation threading is also coming, as we previously reported:

Twitter talked extensively about this and other topics during its #TwitterTalks panel at CES 2020 today where said that its overall strategy was working, citing a 17 percent user growth year-on-year.

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Kayvon Beykpour, head of product for Twitter, mentioned that the company was working harder than ever to remove abusive tweets.

“Over half of the tweets we remove for abuse are done proactively,” he said. In other words, they didn’t need a report from a user to be removed.

“That’s double what it was last year and double the year before. Removing burden from our customers is just as important as making the conversation healthy.

“What’s unique about Twitter is that the core atom of content – the tweet – is actually created by people in the world. In order for people to feel comfortable putting that out in the world for people to consume…people need to feel [empowered] to start that conversation in the first place.”

In other words, Twitter wants to do everything it can to prevent people not wanting to tweet opinions and start conversations because of the fear that they might be sent abuse in return.

Beykpour also talked a little about privacy and that Twitter was attempting to be more open in the way it does things. “Privacy and data protection has never been more important for us and it’s incredibly important for the industry we’re in. We’re being honest and transparent when we screw up but more importantly building trust and privacy into every one of our product features.

“We’re being quite deliberate about doing our work in the public more than ever before. We want people to know where we’re going and why. You’ve seen us communicate better and experiment with new features in a public beta. We want to be open because that’s what Twitter is, it’s a public conversation.”

Writing by Dan Grabham.