Twitter confirmed the test was visible to a small number of users and had ended after a few days.
Twitter Tests Feature That Suggests Which Accounts To Unfollow
Twitter temporarily experimented with an unfollow suggestion feature in an effort to make users' timelines more relevant to them.
In a statement to Slate, Twitter confirmed the test was visible to a small number of users and had concluded after running for a few days.
"We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline. One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don’t engage with regularly. We ran an incredibly limited test to surface accounts that people were not engaging with to check if they’d like to unfollow them," said a company spokesperson, following screen shots of the feature appearing online.
A tweet by user @MattNavarra screen-captured a segment that says "Control what's happening here. You can improve your timeline by reviewing some accounts you may not need to follow".
It added that the feature wasn't a measure of worth for an account, but meant to help users cut back on the size of their follow list so they can focus on posts that are more relevant to their interest.
Slate says Twitter declined to comment on whether the test was deemed successful or if the feature would be rolled out to all users in future.
Recommending accounts to unfollow is a touchy subject for Twitter, who have recently been accused of trying to steer public perception by banning accounts and deleting tweets.
Its CEO Jack Dorsey was reported saying any move to block content based on political or social views would stoke already rising concerns about the power of social media companies.