Twitter is providing people with a “more intimate space” to discuss specific interests among like-minded users, slightly removed from the social network’s wider noise.
The firm has launched a trial of Communities, a new feature allowing members to tweet directly to a group instead of to all their followers.
Only other members in the same Community will be able to reply and join the conversation, but posts will remain publicly visible, and anyone can quote or report tweets as usual.
The tech giant is testing the idea with limited subject matters initially, such as dogs, weather, trainers, skincare and astrology.
People can only join a Community if invited by an existing member or a moderator.
Moderators pick the focus and create the rules, though Twitter’s policies will still apply.
“There’s always been a broad, weird and wonderful range of conversations on Twitter, but we haven’t done enough to help connect people who are into the same things,” said David Regan, Twitter’s staff product manager.
“Starting today, we’re testing Communities, a way to easily find and connect with people who want to talk about the same things you do.”
The firm said the trial will help it to develop ways of identifying potentially problematic Community groups that people could attempt to create in future.
During the research phase, Twitter has also committed to work with outside experts and its Trust and Safety Council to ensure people remain safe.
Access to the feature will be via a tab at the bottom of the iOS app and along the sidebar of Twitter’s website – for the moment, Android users can only read Community tweets from the app.
Anyone globally can be invited to join a Community via Direct Messages.