RIP Twitter Circles: Why the Private Tweeting Feature is No More

Twitter Circles was a feature that allowed users to post tweets that were only visible to a selected group of followers, similar to Instagram's Close Friends feature. It was introduced in August 2021 as a way to offer a more intimate and personal social media experience. Users could create their own Circles and add or remove people from them, as well as view and interact with Circle tweets from others.

However, on October 31, 2023, Twitter Circles was officially shut down by the company, now known as X. The announcement was made by X's CEO Elon Musk in a tweet that said: "Deprecating Circles in favor of improved Communities & DM group chat". The tweet did not provide any further explanation or details on why the feature was discontinued or what would happen to the existing Circle tweets.

Many users were disappointed and confused by the decision, as they had enjoyed using Circles to share private thoughts and feelings with their trusted friends. Some also expressed concern that their Circle tweets might become public or be deleted, as the feature was not very reliable or secure. In fact, in April 2023, there was a security breach that caused some Circle tweets to be exposed to the wider Twitter audience . X apologized for the incident and said it was committed to protecting the privacy of its users .

Some users also pointed out the irony of Musk's tweet, as he himself had used Circles to post jokes and memes to a Circle audience consisting only of Tony Hawk, the famous skateboarder ³. Hawk had no way of removing himself from Musk's Circle, as the feature did not allow users to opt out of being added by others. This was one of the most popular and hilarious uses of Circles, according to some users.

X has not clarified what will happen to the existing Circle tweets, but it seems that they will remain private and accessible only to the original Circle members. Users can still view their own Circle tweets on their profile, as well as remove people from their Circles by unfollowing them . However, they cannot create new Circle tweets or add new people to their Circles anymore.

X has also not explained how it plans to improve its Communities and DM group chat features, which are supposed to replace Circles. Communities are groups of users who share a common interest or topic, such as dogs or astrology . DM group chat is a feature that allows users to send direct messages to multiple people at once . Both features are different from Circles in terms of functionality and purpose, as they are not meant to be private or personal.

It is unclear why X decided to get rid of Circles, which was a unique and innovative feature that many users enjoyed. Some speculate that it might have been due to low usage, technical difficulties, legal issues, or strategic reasons. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that X has lost one of its most treasured features and has disappointed many of its loyal users. RIP Twitter Circles. You will be missed.

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