if you could *hypothetically* Tweet to a selected audience, who would you want to see
That question was put to Twitter's head of product Kayvon Beykpour in a recent interview on the Verge's 'Vergecast' podcast, and Beykpour confirmed that ephemerality is indeed something Twitter is looking at, while it's also considering new options to restrict the audience for your tweets.
As per Beykpour:
"[Ephemerality] is really important for some specific sets of circumstances where you want to talk to people, but you’re not quite sure you want it to last forever yet. And so I think as a dimension to focus on, as a specific customer problem, absolutely, I’m very interested in exploring how we might give customers more control. Where ephemerality is just one of those dimensions, I think there are other dimensions that, while we can get excited and talk about ephemerality because there’s lots of other standards of how other apps do this, I think other dimensions, like control around who can see or control around who can participate, is really critical."
Beykpour notes that conducting a focused conversation can be difficult on Twitter, because there are so many users seeking to have an input - Twitter's 'global town square' approach to communications doesn't necessarily facilitate more enclosed discussion.
But what if there was a way to control your tweet audience?
So say, for example, you wanted to have a real-time interview with a celebrity via tweets, but you only wanted to have a dedicated, specific audience for that discussion. Right now, this isn't possible, because once you tweet, it's public (dependent on your settings), and viewable via your profile. But maybe, if there were the equivalent of a private Twitter chat room, which separated your tweets into another, enclosed space, that could make it more useful in this respect.
As noted by Beykpour:
"It’s actually quite difficult to have a fireside chat when you have a billion people screaming into your ear. Like imagine we had tens of thousands of people in the studio with us right now, talking into our ear while we were talking to each other."
Beykpour notes that Twitter's looking at experiments on both fronts - ephemeral, disappearing tweets and restricted audiences for Twitter conversations.
That's additionally supported by this tweet poll posted by Twitter product designer Brittany Forks.