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Twitter’s experiment to get you to read stories actually worked

You’re more likely to actually open and read articles you see on Twitter if they nudge you to not share them first, according to results from a Twitter experiment. 

Twitter’s test prompted Android app users to open an article before retweeting it. 

Twitter shared the results of that feature on Thursday and concluded that people open articles 40% more often after seeing that prompt. People also opened articles 33% more before retweeting it, and Twitter noticed that some people held off on retweeting messages after getting the prompt.

???? More reading – people open articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt
???? More informed Tweeting – people opening articles before RTing increased by 33%
???? Some people didn’t end up RTing after opening the article – which is fine! Some Tweets are
best left in drafts ????

— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) September 24, 2020

The new initiative was Twitter’s way to help promote informed discussion on the platform rather than have people blindly repost articles before actually knowing what they are about. 

Moving forward, Twitter said that it’s going to tweak the notification to be smaller after you’ve initially seen it and that it will bring these prompts to all users soon. 

Digital Trends reached out to Twitter to get an estimated timeline of when you can expect the prompt to show up on your feed. We will update this story when we hear back. 

Facebook added a similar notification about reading articles in June to “help people understand the recency and source of the content before they share it.” Facebook’s notification tells you how long ago the article was first shared and its original source as a way to combat outdated news that can often misrepresent current events. 

Both social networks have ramped up how they are handling misinformation on their platforms ahead of the 2020 election by labeling politically tied accounts or media, banning deepfakes, and more. 

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Allison Matyus
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
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