PSA: You can now tweet privately to just your mates, here’s everything you need to know

It’s basically Instagram close friends but for Twitter

Did anyone else wake up, check Twitter and immediately see loads of tweets about being added to people’s Twitter Circle and then get really confused? After first being trialled in May, Twitter rolled out its latest update to all users on Monday night. The new phenomenon has sent the Twittersphere into overdrive and caused drama with users who who weren’t aware it was going to happen or what it was.

As timelines were flooded with messages about the Twitter Circle button and the new options when you Tweet, it’s also immediately become very clear who your real (online) friends are dependent on if you were or weren’t added to people’s Circles. As one user put it, it’s exactly like the lunch table situation in Mean Girls. Here’s everything you need to know about Twitter Circle:

What actually is Twitter Circle?

Twitter Circle

Basically, the new update allows you to add up to 150 people to your Twitter Circle. What that means is you can tweet to just those people rather than to all of your followers.

You can have multiple Circles, and only you can see the full list of people in your Circle. The wackiest bit about this new idea: they can’t leave your Circle without unfollowing, muting or blocking you. They have to see whatever bonkers thing your brain comes up with at 3am that you don’t want your 342 other followers to see, or not see you at all.

It’s essentially Instagram close friends

Twitter Circle seems, so far, like having a close friends story on Instagram, but the question remains, will anyone ever use it? Most people tend to use Twitter for sharing their opinions (be they good or bad) so will 150 people be limiting, or freeing?

It seems that Twitter has introduced this new measure so that users can have greater control over their privacy and so they can control who can see what they post.

Twitter has also confirmed that tweets in your Circle will still be subjected to community guidelines and even though they can’t retweet them, tweets can still be screenshotted by the people who can see them.

How do I actually use Twitter Circle?

To add people to your Twitter Circle, go to your menu on the left hand side of your screen, and select the option that says Twitter Circle. This gives you the option to add anyone to your Circle regardless of whether or not they follow you (so Taylor Swift can see everything you say, if you would like her to). To tweet to just your Twitter Circle, go to compose a tweet and then click on the drop down menu at the top left of the screen. There will be an option that says Circle – if you click this, it selects just your new group of friends.

Whether or not Twitter users will embrace this new feature is yet to be seen but at least the update has provided us with some great online reaction. Here are some of the funniest responses so far:

‘You can’t sit with us’

Why can’t I leave??

This is my worst nightmare

Is it all just an opportunity for a talent (or popularity) contest?

And finally, this is why you might not be getting added to any Circles

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