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Twitter is disabling its private tweeting feature Circles

X is scrapping the Circle feature. (PA Wire)
X is scrapping the Circle feature. (PA Wire)

Those who have been regular users of the platform X, which was previously known as Twitter, will be no stranger to the Circle feature.

The feature went live in May 2022 and allowed users to share their chosen tweets privately with groups of up to 150 people. It was created as a way of giving tweeters more control over their feed and who could interact with them.

However, more recently, in April 2023, Circle made headlines when users started complaining that their private tweets were being leaked publicly, thus defeating the purpose of the feature.

At the time a former Twitter data scientist had blamed the lapse on the layoffs orchestrated by Twitter CEO Elon Musk.

Now, X has revealed that Circle will be removed altogether. An article within the platform’s help centre announced that the feature will be wound down from October 31 after which users won’t be able to create new posts that are just limited to their selected circle of followers.

While users will be able to remove people from seeing their content by unfollowing them, they won’t be able to use the Circle feature to gatekeep their posts.

It was recently revealed that the platform’s owner, Elon Musk, is planning to charge a fee to those who want to use the platform.

During a streamed conversation with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the entrepreneur said users might be charged “some minor amount” to deter bots on X.

He explained: “This is a super-tough problem. It’s the single most important reason we’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system, because it’s the only way I can think of to combat the vast armies of bots.

“A bot costs a fraction of a penny, say a 10th of a penny. But if someone has to pay a few dollars, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high. Then you also have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot.”

He also claimed the X platform now has 550 million active users a month, up from the 531 million he tweeted about on July 28. The figure was closer to 229 million in mid-2022.