Twitter tries out 'mute' feature for irritating tweets

Twitter The mute feature is being rolled out to some users

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Twitter is trialling a feature in its mobile apps that allows users to mute accounts that are becoming irritating.

Unlike the block function, which is designed to stop communications with an undesirable user completely, muting is intended to be temporary.

It will mean users can block out people who, for example, live tweet football matches every weekend, or post about TV talent shows.

Many third-party Twitter apps have offered a mute option for some time.

According to technology news site The Verge, selected users running Twitter's Apple iOS and Google Android apps reported seeing the feature appear.

The Verge described muting as a "stealth unfollow", ideal for ignoring work colleagues.

Engagement worries

Twitter has not commented specifically on its plans for rolling out the mute feature.

But in a blog post about "experimentation", the company explained: "You may see some features that your friend doesn't see, or vice-versa. This is all in service of making Twitter the best it can be. We appreciate your help in doing that, so thank you."

The new feature has come at a time when Twitter is aiming to increase the amount of time existing users spend on the service.

According to its latest financial results, published earlier this week, the first three months of 2014 saw timeline views increase by 15% to 157 billion.

But the company's shares fell by 11% because of slow growth - over those three months, the site's user base increased by just 3.8%.

Twitter also reported a net loss of $132m (£78m), but posted revenue of $250m, 90% of which came through advertising.

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