Twitter has added a Whatsapp share button for its users in India, the social media platform unveiled via tweet from its account dedicated to the country.
The feature, which was announced as a test, replaces the share button and provides the exact same functionality. In other words, upon clicking the icon, users will be presented with options for copying the link to a tweet, sharing tweet via other social media platforms, sending it as a direct message, or bookmarking it.
While it appears to be one-click sharing to WhatsApp groups and contacts, it is in fact just an aesthetic change.
To actually share to WhatsApp requires clicking the new button and then selecting WhatsApp on the “Share Tweet via…” option.
New Icon Seeks to Facilitate Broader Engagement via Popular Messenger
With more than 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is extremely popular in India, where it has more than 581 million users. And demand is growing; projections put the number of users north of 795 million by 2025.
By integrating sharing functionality with the Meta-owned free messaging platform, Twitter is seeking to facilitate the spread of tweets outside its own platform.
“We are replacing the share icon on Tweets with the WhatsApp icon for the majority of people who use Twitter on Android in the country, so sharing their favorite or noteworthy Tweets is easy even beyond Twitter, making the experience more open, accessible, and holistic for them,” Twitter said in a statement to TechCrunch.
Facilitating cross-platform sharing also provides a means for Twitter to track engagement from people who are not logged in to the app.
Twitter Has Rolled Back Changes Before
Twitter generally limits its tests to a select group of users, often those subscribed to Twitter Blue. This test will be available to most Android users in India.
While the current “share to WhatsApp” button does not function as many users expected, Twitter has clearly stated it is in the testing stage.
A final version could be significantly different or even scrapped altogether. This would not be the first time Twitter has backed off changes to the user interface.
In March of this year, released and then scrapped a “Top Tweets” feature that allowed users to switch between feeds of chronological and top tweets. Panned by users, this feature lasted just four days before the social media platform removed it and brought back the default feed.
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