This could be interesting – according to a new finding by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter could be set to remove the current retweet menu options, and open directly to a ‘Quote Tweet’ composer window instead.
As you can see in the GIF above, the new sequence would seemingly remove this middle step (below), which prompts the user to select either a straight ‘Retweet’, re-sharing the original message, or a ‘Quote Tweet’ where they add their own thoughts before sharing.
That could make sense – Twitter has been pushing for people to take more time in considering their responses to tweets, in order to prompt more informed, contextualized discussion, and leading straight into a Quote Tweet prompt could be an easy way to boost personal sharing and engagement, as opposed to binary re-amplification.
Wong also notes that in this process, you can still send straight retweets (by not entering any text in the composer field), but the emphasis, clearly, would be on getting more users to share their personal perspective.
As noted, Twitter has been re-examining various facets of its service over the past year, with CEO Jack Dorsey noting in April 2019 that they were rethinking ‘the fundamental dynamics’ of the app. At that time, Dorsey spoke about the over-emphasis on follower counts specifically, but retweets have also been a consideration, with the function often used to amplify certain messages, even when the person sharing it may not necessarily agree.
In one effort to address this, Twitter added a new prompt on articles that users attempt to retweet without actually opening the article link, which it says has resulted in users opening articles 40% more often in such cases.
Opening to a quote tweet window could have a similar effect, adding an extra element of friction in the sharing process, which could get more users to take a moment to consider what they’re saying in re-sharing such content.
It may seem like a basic change in this respect, but as shown in the article prompts, even a little push can make a significant difference, and it’d be interesting to see what impacts it could have on user activity.
We asked Twitter about the possible update, but it declined to comment at this time.