The change is one of many experiments Twitter’s run in recent years in order to improve “conversational health,” on its platform. Though limits on replies have been controversial among some users, Twitter has said it’s meant to improve some of the less-than-desirable dynamics on Twitter, such as ratios and, of course, the infamous reply guys.
Twitter has been experimenting with the feature since May and says early tests have shown it can reduce abusive tweets.
“These settings prevented an average of three potentially abusive replies while only adding one potentially abusive retweet with a comment,” Twitter’s Suzanne Xie writes in a blog post. “And, we didn’t see any uptick in unwanted direct messages.” She also notes that users who encounter reply-limited tweets are four times more likely to view retweets with comments, which can prompt further conversation about a topic.
“Differing views can still be shared with retweets with comments, which sometimes reach a larger audience than the original tweet,” Xie writes. “Several times, we saw more likes and views on a retweet with comment than on the original tweet, even though the original tweet author had more followers.”