Twitter Screenshots Of Tweets.

Prince Menaria

The popular social networking site Twitter is currently trying to discourage users from taking screenshots of tweets using an easy-to-use screenshot and sharing tool on the site. This approach has been used by other social networks in the past and has proven effective in deterring users from doing so, at least temporarily. How well will it work this time? And why are they doing it? Let’s take a closer look at Twitter’s attempt to stop people taking screenshots of tweets!

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Twitter Is Attempting To Prevent Users From Taking Screenshots Of Tweetsprince

What Are The Advantages Of Sharing Over Screenshotting?

There are three main advantages to sharing over taking a screenshot. The first, and most obvious, being that people who share more get more engagement on their content. Simply put, there is an incentive for users to want to share because if they don’t get anything back (likes or retweets), then they don’t feel as though it was worth it. Another advantage Twitter has over other social media platforms is that users can quote tweets and reply directly. When you take a screenshot of someone’s tweet, you do not have any way of communicating with them directly, which often leaves your response lacking context. And lastly, when you share something on Twitter instead of taking a screenshot, you allow yourself to interact with other users by liking and retweeting their content. This creates a community where everyone involved benefits from sharing instead of just one person getting all of the likes. Why would someone still screenshot? Despite all these disadvantages, some people still prefer screenshots to sharing. Some may find tweeting difficult, while others may be trying to make sure they aren’t going over 140 characters, so they prefer screenshots so that they can edit out unnecessary information. And finally, some may find it easier than writing out what they want to say in fewer characters, but don’t mind if no one likes or retweets it since no one sees what they wrote anyway.

Why Are People Screenshotting?

The way I see it, people screenshot tweets for two reasons. The first is because they want to be able to reference that tweet down the road without having to remember and search for it. The second reason is that they want others not on Twitter (family members, co-workers, friends) to see that tweet—and seeing a screenshot as opposed to an embedded tweet helps ensure those people will read what you’ve posted. It’s one thing when you or your followers can miss a tweet in a stream; it’s another thing entirely if someone who isn’t checking Twitter regularly sees it in their feed and just assumes it didn't get any retweets or likes because there was nothing about it that stood out. Screenshotting may help mitigate that. How do you think these popups should work? My personal preference would be something like a dialog box with Tweet and Screenshot buttons at opposite ends of an OK button in its center. If users choose to Tweet, then it would immediately post to Twitter without asking them anything else (other than which photo/video app they use, etc.) If users choose Screenshot, then it would immediately take a screenshot of the screen and give them options as to where they could save that file locally. Those options could include social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc., or perhaps email attachments or other storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

What Does Twitter Think About It?

The social network's director of product management, David Gasca, said it had introduced several changes, including pop-ups that are shown when a user attempts to take a screenshot. We do not consider it acceptable to share photos or screenshots of tweets that are not public, except in unusual circumstances, he said. And because such images violate our terms of service, we’re updating [our website] so that Twitter images are no longer downloadable. The US site already had similar warnings about distributing private information and enforcing its copyright rules. Twitter has also updated its app for Apple iOS devices, so it now shows on an iPhone when someone takes a screenshot or screen recording. Before, users could just tap on their device's power button to find out if anyone else was looking at their phone at that moment. Now, they will see a notification telling them what happened. According to Mr. Gasca, this update is specifically designed to give people more control over how their images are shared. By giving people more control over how their content can be captured and distributed online—while providing clear visual cues—we hope to curb abuse without affecting people’s ability to use Twitter as they do today.

How Can We Get Around It?

If Twitter detects you taking a screenshot, it will alert you with a message asking if you really intend to capture your tweet in image form. The pop-up only shows up on desktop, and users can easily get around it by using another device or app. On iOS, for example, all you have to do is take your screenshot and share it as usual. The pop-up message doesn't apply there because Twitter's iOS app doesn't allow screenshots natively. So, simply save your tweet as an image from within that app. You may not be able to see who liked or retweeted a particular post, but at least you'll still be able to capture tweets for posterity.

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