Hugely popular social media platform, Twitter is now testing a new feature that recommends users read the entire news article before sharing it via retweeting. The company relayed this information via a tweet on their official support account.
The feature is being tested on Android devices and will prompt users asking if they’d like to open the article before they share it if they haven’t opened the article on Twitter.
“Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it,” the company says. “To help promote informed discussion, we’re testing a new prompt on Android, when you retweet an article that you haven’t opened on Twitter, we may ask if you’d like to open it first.”
Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.
To help promote informed discussion, we're testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven't opened on Twitter, we may ask if you'd like to open it first.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 10, 2020
This is in efforts, as Twitter says, to promote informed discussion and limit the spread of misinformed reactions that may lead to aggravated conversations between users that have been the norm in Twitter for many years.
I did read it, actually ? pic.twitter.com/sqikMwu0pV
— Eric Tendian (@EricTendian) June 10, 2020
The above tweet is how the prompt appears for users. According to Twitter, the prompt will only appear when users attempt to retweet an article without having opened it on Twitter first. However, the prompt is still being tested and Android users may see the prompt even when they have already read an article.
It has been received with mixed reactions by users. TechWeez writes journalists and writers have praised the idea, while other users are split between admiring the move as bold and doomsaying upon the platform.
What is really, really interesting about this is that it deliberately introduces friction in a platform normally designed to be v. Frictionless.
Sounds like almost nothing, but friction can have huge impacts in aggregate behaviour. https://t.co/xrhYSJRxNe
— Carl Miller (@carljackmiller) June 10, 2020
Big move! Will be super curious about the data here. I expect it will help reduce the spread of misinfo. Side effect might be a barrier for paywalled news orgs to get their stories shared https://t.co/7EVzVzBxxf
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) June 10, 2020
Lolllll this is gonna be the end of this site https://t.co/Q3I1DeuKR5
— Jack Hamilton (@jack_hamilton) June 10, 2020
This is another move on the social media mainstay’s fight against misinformation and flagrant reactions. Twitter has also begun to label tweets that could be holding fake news on the coronavirus and politics. Even a few of US President Donald Trump’s tweets had been slapped with fact-check labels.
The prompt will be based on clickthrough and not time spent on-page. This test will run for at least a few weeks to get enough data to make an informed decision on next steps.