Screenshots of tweets are one of the most popular ways to share tweets with friends or post them on your other social media accounts. But Twitter is now showing a pop-up to many users asking them to share the tweet instead of taking a screenshot.
Users are seeing different kinds of pop-ups when they take a screenshot. Some folks are seeing a “Copy Link” button, some are seeing a “Share Tweet” button and some are seeing a dialog containing both.
Some of TechCrunch’s own staff noticed this pop-up on iOS while taking a screenshot of a tweet.
“Millions of Tweets are shared from Twitter to other platforms every day. We want to make Tweets accessible to everyone, even when they leave our platform, and allow others an easy way back to the full conversation on Twitter. We’re currently testing this new prompt with a small group of people on iOS to let them know there are other ways they can share Tweets with their friends,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch.
This could be one of Twitter’s tests to get more people to directly use its platform. When people are consuming tweets through screenshots they are not interacting with any element of the site. So it’s most likely that they are not “monetizable” users as the social network can’t show them ads or ask them to sign up for the service.
In August, the company started an experiment that allowed some users to use Twitter without creating an account. This tweet allowed users to follow 50 accounts and reply to tweets but didn’t allow them to use features like retweeting or liking.
In Twitter’s Q2 2022 earnings results announced in July, the company said that its monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) — a metric that Twitter has crafted for its own usage — have increased 16.6% year on year to 237.8 million. The company has been trying different ways to increase its active user numbers and asking people to share tweets instead of taking screenshots is one small measure in that direction.
WhatsApp recently announced a screenshots prevention tool for private “view once” messages, but it doesn’t prevent you from taking screenshots of a regular chat. This is a rare instance of a company asking users not to take screengrabs of public posts.
The story was updated on October 8 at 6:40 PM IST with comments from Twitter.