Twitter wants its users to start reading articles before sharing them

Brittany A. Roston - Jun 10, 2020, 4:42 pm CDT
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Twitter wants its users to start reading articles before sharing them

Some social media users have developed the bad habit of reading an article’s title and then either commenting on it or sharing it without actually reading its content first. Twitter is addressing this problem with a new test that encourages some of its users to read the article before sharing it with their followers, paving the way for more accurate and meaningful discussions.

Article titles are, by their nature, quite short and incapable of providing more than a vague idea or brief statement about the larger contents of the article. Actually reading an article provides details and commentary that are not only vital for understanding the topic, but also important for talking about it with others.

That doesn’t stop users on Facebook, Reddit, and any other number of platforms from glancing at a title, liking what they see, making assumptions about the content, and then sharing it on their own feed. Twitter is testing a way to stop this, at least among Android users, with a new message in its mobile app.

In a tweet published by its Twitter Support account, the company said that it is testing a new prompt that will show up in the Android app when a user attempts to share an article they haven’t clicked. Users will still be able to share the content, of course, but they’ll be asked whether they want to read the article first.

It’s unclear when Twitter will expand the feature beyond Android, but it seems likely it will eventually make its way to other platforms. Given that it is a test, however, the final implementation of the feature may differ from what Android users will initially see — and, of course, there’s the possibility that Twitter will end up scrapping the feature altogether.


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