Twitter’s experiment to nudge people into reading news articles before sharing them online is moving out of beta to become a permanent feature for all users.
The company began testing the function in June with English Android users. It works like this: When attempting to retweet an article you haven’t clicked into, Twitter will display a prompt advising you to first read the content before circulating it.
The goal was to promote “informed discussion” and “healthier conversations,” when Twitter arguments can sometimes erupt simply because people neglected to fully read an article before commenting on or resharing it.
On Thursday, Twitter said the beta test showed some promising results. The “read before you retweet” prompts are causing users to open an article link 40 percent more often than before. Users who open articles before retweeting them have also increased by 33 percent.
“Some people didn’t end up RTing (retweeting) after opening the article—which is fine! Some Tweets are best left in drafts,” the company added.
Twitter hasn’t said when the feature will arrive, but expect it to pop up for all users soon. To make the reminders less of nuisance, the company plans on making the prompts smaller after the first time you encounter them, “because we get that you get it,” the company said.
The feature arrives as the US presidential race heads into its final weeks. In response, Twitter has been trying to add guardrails to the platform to prevent misinformation about the election from going viral. The efforts have also involved cracking down on the QAnon conspiracy theory.