Twitter feature concept: Sharing links and passages from articles

I’ve noticed that Twitter is a large source of news/article (“link”) discovery and consumption, from personal and observed use, and the popularity of link-filtering apps like Nuzzle.

When we read noteworthy articles I think we want to share them in two ways — privately (via DM) or publicly (via tweet).

In terms of what specifically we want to share, sometimes it’s the link, but other times just a select passage. We can see this through the popularity of screenshorts and tools like oneshot.

However, doing this from the Twitter mobile app is a bit cumbersome. It takes 11 taps to screenshot a passage with the link and send it via DM, and 9 taps to screenshot a passage + link + tweet.

I think these are popular interactions that are core to Twitter as a news and conversation platform. Along these lines, I had a couple of ideas to make the interactions more seamless and prominent from the Twitter mobile browser.

Idea 1: Direct messaging a link (3 taps)

  • Tap the DM button in the bottom corner
  • Add a friend, option to type a comment, hit send.

Idea 2: Direct messaging a passage + link (3 taps)

  • Long press a sentence / passage you want to share
  • Tap DM, add a friend, hit send.

What happens if you DM a passage to a friend and they click through to the article? Maybe they could carry out the conversation right there, around the selected passage.

Idea 3: See comments inline, and reply directly from the page

  • Passage that was highlighted by friend shown
  • Tap to see friend and their comment. Tap to reply from there (replies feed back to DM thread?).

There are a lot edge cases to think about, but I’d assume a few benefits to integrating these interactions in the mobile browser:

  • Simplifying existing behavior can increase interactions (see snapchat + privately sharing pics)
  • Twitter could own the entire experience — highlighted text no longer lives in images, so they could use this data to show the most popular highlights from articles across the twitter network (a la Medium)
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