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 popups 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 popup on iOS while taking a screenshot of a tweet.
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 of the small measure in that direction.
We have asked Twitter for a comment and we’ll update the story if we hear back.
WhatsApp recently announced a screenshots prevention tool for private “view once” messages, but it doesn’t prevent you to take screenshots of regular chat. This is a rare instance of a company asking users not to take screengrabs of public posts.