Twitter knows when you screenshot tweets to share somewhere else, and it’d prefer if you gave it some credit instead.
Some Twitter users are starting to see a new pop-up prompting them to share a link to tweets instead of a screenshot. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted the new pop-up that appears immediately after a user screenshots a post; the prompt reads, “Share Tweet instead?” Users are seeing a few different versions, like “Copy link” and “Share Tweet” buttons. Some staff at The Verge got the “Copy link” pop-up, which grabs a link to the screenshotted tweet.
Twitter spokesperson Shaokyi Amdo confirmed the prompt is a test with a small group of iOS users. The pop-up is the latest small update the company is testing to try to get people to use Twitter more. Screenshots of tweets end up reposted on the platform, but they also spread to all corners of the internet that aren’t Twitter, like Instagram stories and posts, TikTok videos, or group chats and other private messages. Images of tweets doing numbers off of Twitter is engagement the platform is losing out on. And visiting Twitter after seeing a screenshotted tweet elsewhere involves more steps than simply clicking a direct link.
The prompt to share a tweet instead of screenshot it is just one of the ways Twitter has been trying to grow users. In August, the company announced a test that allows potential new users to test out Twitter without making an account. In September, Wong also noted that Twitter was experimenting with a prompt reminding users that they can share tweets with anyone, including people without accounts.