Facebook testing feature that suggests you read before you share

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Clickbait headlines get us all. We could have titled this story “You won’t believe what Facebook wants its users to do now” but that betrays the content that follows.

This is because while this test is good, it’s not game changing mainly because Twitter has already conducted a similar test.

That test is whether a feature will get more users to read an article before they share it on Zuckerberg’s app.

“Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to share a news article link you haven’t opened, we’ll show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others,” Facebook said in a tweet.

Of course, you could just ignore this prompt. As you can see in the image below one can simply tap “Continue Sharing” to remove the message. This is good as you may have read the article elsewhere and not via Facebook. While we worry that folks would ignore the prompt by default, you might recall Twitter conducted a similar test last year.

During that test Twitter noted 33 percent more users opened an article before sharing it. Twitter also reported that more people – 40 percent – opened an article after seeing the prompt.

We suspect that Facebook’s test of this feature will yield similar results but then again, Facebook is a different jungle in comparison to Twitter.

At least Facebook is trying though and any feature that helps people stay informed and are sharing information that’s accurate gets a thumbs up from us.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.