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  • X, formerly known as Twitter, is disabling its Circles feature by October 31, an option that had allowed users to limit who could see their posts.
  • The response to this change has been largely apathetic, as many people did not use Circles anyway.
  • This move away from a privacy-centric feature is in line with other recent updates made by the Elon Musk-led X, and may contribute to an ongoing exodus from the platform.

Social media platforms have made changes over the years to give users more ways to manage their posts. Specifically, visibility settings have been integrated into some social networks — for example, Instagram allows its users to create Stories that can only be viewed by a select group of people. X, formerly known as Twitter, followed suit with a similar feature called Circles not much more than a year ago. Now, the Elon Musk-led social media network is eliminating the option for users looking to limit who can see their posts.

In an update posted on its platform on September 21, X announced that Circles would be “disabled” by October 31. Details posted on the platform’s Help Center page explain that users will no longer be able to create new posts that are only visible to people in their designated Circle. Additionally, it will not be possible to add people to a Circle as they are phased out — X then proceeded to list steps that can be taken to remove people from an existing Circle. If a person is removed from your Circle, however, X notes that they will no longer be able to see your past Circle-exclusive posts.

The immediate response to the update published by X seemed to be apathy. Many users noted that they weren’t using Circles, so the change would not impact them. However, it’s indisputably another step away from privacy, which users were able to maintain by leveraging the feature. X had spent months testing Circles before rolling it out in August 2022. Upon launch, users were able to add up to 150 people to their Circle, presumably trusted friends. However, it appears that it never caught fire like the Close Friends feature on Instagram.

Whether or not this change will encourage more people to flee the platform has yet to be seen. However, many updates Musk has made to X have not been well-received thus far. In September, the Tesla founder made it known that he intends to eliminate the blocking feature on the website. Users immediately raised concerns over safety and potential harassment, but these arguments were countered with the fact that muting will still be possible (and not everyone was satisfied with the response).

There is little that can be done about the changes Musk chooses to make to X. However, one option users still have is to leave the platform. With privacy and safety features becoming diminished, it may be worth considering — especially if these are factors you value while using a social media platform.