Twitter expands its 'read before sharing' test to iOS

Apple users will also be prompted to read beyond the headline.


Following a test to get people to read articles before tweeting them, Twitter announced plans last month to roll the feature out to everyone. Today, the company is expanding its test and bringing the prompts to iOS. When someone on an Apple mobile device tries to retweet or quote tweet an article, Twitter “may ask if you'd like to open it first.”

The test started out with Android users in June, and the company noted it has seen positive results since. The experiment led to more people reading articles, saying users opened 40 percent more articles after seeing the prompt. The rate of people reading articles before retweeting them went up by 33 percent, while in some cases people didn’t end up RT-ing after they clicked on a headline. “Some Tweets are best left in drafts [winking emoji],” the company said.

This feature will show up on articles regardless of the content or publisher, according to Twitter’s communications lead Brandon Borrman. “If you didn’t click on the link, you’re in the test,” Borrman said. As Twitter continues to be a popular forum for political discourse, prompts that encourage deeper engagement instead of reflexive, impulse-sharing could foster more thoughtful conversations.