Having written about some of our design decisions, now we’re going to change gears a little and talk about Use Cases for TweetAgora that you might not have considered. First up: “The Follow-and-Mute”.
When someone adds you on Twitter you can either follow them back, or not. If you’ve never met them before, your decision process is pretty simple: check out their bio, scan through their tweets, and if they seem interesting you follow them back.
Things get more complicated when you’re followed by someone you know in real life. A follow is a way of saying “I think you’re interesting”, so by not following back you’re essentially saying “you, not so much”. It’s easy to see how that could hurt a person’s feelings, which is a much bigger issue for someone you know personally than it is for a stranger. There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation why you’re not interested in following them (too chatty, too many tweets about subjects you don’t care about, etc), but you can’t exactly explain those without more hurt feelings.
This brings us to our first Use Case: the Follow-and-Mute. Next time you’re followed by someone you know, rather than risk hurt feelings why not just follow them back and then use TweetAgora to mute them? They’ll feel warm and fuzzy because it’ll appear that you’re following them back, they’ll be able to send you Direct Messages, and you’ll still be able to see any @ mentions they tweet to you in your Mentions timeline. You can also filter out their @ name if you’re not interested in seeing what your other followers are saying to them (though seeing those conversations can be a good way of seeing if that person has since become a better tweeter).
There’s no shame in the Follow-and-Mute; some people are great in real life but just plain suck at Twitter. Why risk an awkward moment the next time you see them? You’d be surprised how many people will call you out on not mutually following them, especially if you’re friends in real life.