Tag: Prompts

September 24, 2020

Twitter Shares Insights into the Effectiveness of its New Prompts to Get Users to Read Content Before Retweeting

Back in June, Twitter added a new pop-up alert on articles that users attempt to retweet without actually opening the article link and reading the post.

Twitter read prompt

After a full three months of implementation, today, Twitter has shared some new insight into the effectiveness of the prompt, and how it’s changed user behavior when they’re shown the alert.

According to Twitter:

  • People open articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt
  • People opening articles before retweeting increased by 33%
  • Some people didn’t end up retweeting after opening the article – “which is fine – some Tweets are best left in drafts”

Those are some pretty impressive numbers, underlining the value of simple prompts like this in getting users to think twice about what it is they’re distributing through their social media activity.

Adding any level of share friction seems to have some effect. Back in 2016, Facebook added similar pop-ups on posts which had been disputed by third-party fact checkers, prompting users to re-think their intention before they hit ‘Share’.

Facebook fact-check prompt

Analysis conducted by MIT found that these labels reduce people’s propensity to share misinformation by around 13%, while Facebook has since also added new prompts when users attempt to share a link that’s more than 90 days old, reducing the spread of outdated content.

It seems that simple pushes like this can actually have a big impact. And while free speech advocates have criticized such labels as being overly intrusive, if the net effect is less blind sharing, and more reading and research into topics, then that’s surely a good thing that can only benefit online discourse.

Given the success of the new prompts, Twitter’s now working to bring them to all users globally (currently only available on Android), while it’s also looking to make the alerts smaller after their initial display to each user.

And clearly, the impacts could be significant. While the above figures may not hold in a broader launch of the option, the numbers do show that the prompts are at last somewhat effective, and can help in reducing ill-informed sharing, and the distribution of misinformation.

Free Speech Social Media Platform

September 24, 2020

YouTube Adds New Voter Awareness Prompts in Election-Related Search Queries

With the US Presidential Election only 40 days away, YouTube has this week announced some new prompts designed to maximize voter understanding of both candidates and the voting process, in order increase participation, and combat misinformation around the poll.

YouTube voting awareness

As you can see here, the new prompts will appear in searches for terms like ‘how to vote’ and ‘how to register to vote’, with alerts that direct users to Google’s official voting tools via a prominent ‘Learn More’ CTA button.

In addition to this, searches for 2020 presidential or federal Congressional candidates will also now display a similar information panel with details about that candidate above search results.

“We’re also providing two additional information panels on voter registration and how to vote, in English and Spanish.”

YouTube’s also adding new in-app reminders on how to register, how to vote and where to vote, while it’s also promoting information from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission about volunteering at the polls, so users can learn more about how to get involved and assist with community participation.

YouTube’s also launching two new YouTube Originals to further highlight election-related information:

  • YouChoose 2020 – An interactive voting special which takes viewers through the key steps in the voting process using the YouTube meme of your choosing – “from a cooking tutorial that compares voting to following a recipe, to an auto repair video that breaks down the ‘nuts and bolts’ of voting”.
  • Kid Correspondent – A four-part election special designed to help parents and families better understand and talk about civic engagement and the democratic process.

As always, YouTube will be a key source of news and information throughout the election period – in fact, data from Pew Research shows that some 38% of YouTube users regularly turn to the platform for news content, which only trails Facebook in terms of social media news sources.

That puts YouTube in a position of significant influence when distributing accurate information, and while the platform can also lead users down conspiracy rabbit holes, steps like these are important in ensuring that YouTube’s audience is getting the right information about the voting process within their viewing activity.

That’s even more important in 2020. With more people spending time at home due to the various impacts of the COVID-19 mitigation efforts, YouTube is seeing an increase in viewership, with the platform recently reporting that watch time of YouTube content on TV screens jumped 80% year over year

Combine this with the fact that more regional newspapers and news outlets have been forced to shut down due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, and that leaves an increasing number of people seeking out news content from alternate sources. Like Facebook and YouTube. 

As such, the role that all social platforms play in distributing accurate information will be ramped up this year, which is why it’s important that each includes links to official information, like these new prompts, in related user queries.    

Free Speech Social Media Platform