Twitter tests Reader mode on mobile app cutting out clutter but also adverts

Anne Freier | November 10, 2016

Mobile Advertising

Social media company Twitter seems to be testing a new iOS app feature which turns on the Apple “Reader” mode when a link is opened in-app.
Reader mode removes some of the clutter from a web page including adverts and native links in order for the content to be more easily readable on mobile.
Example of Twitter Reader mode for The Guardian page
The tests are currently run with a select few. However, there are some issues.
Following in the footsteps of Google to improve the web experience for mobile device owners, Reader mode does twist up some of the web pages by jumbling together texts and eliminating the images in between.
That could be a potential blow for content publishers and as of yet there seems to be no way to customise a Reader page. In addition, advertisers may not be happy that their ads won’t be visible.
Right now, it’s all just a test. However, it may come at a peculiar time, just after the company announced its latest earnings and 9% staff cuts.
In addition, Twitter has been testing new options for Tweet replies, which made it more difficult to get rid of threads and hence received negative reviews from testers.
It remains to be seen if the automatic Reader adoption is here to stay. But if it is, it will require extensive modification to please all media parties involved.

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