Twitter adopts retweets and gives them an upgrade
Twitter has started to roll out its official support for retweets. Retweeting is the process of taking another user’s tweet and passing it on to our followers. It was created by the community and never part of Twitter’s original vision.
Now Twitter adopting retweets has come with an upgrade and a fair amount of change that some users are going to be freaked out by, but hang on in there because you can still do it the old way if you want to. Twitter IS NOT stopping the old way of retweeting, just adding new features:
Cleaning up the messy retweets
We have all seen it. Long chains of users’ names in retweets and having to cut down or remove text from tweets to get into 140 characters to retweet it.
With the new retweet functionality you will now just press retweet and the original tweet will be sent into your stream and you will get credit at the bottom of the tweet that your followers can see.
You will only see the first retweet triggered by one of your followers, not every retweet generated over x hours as it does now. We’re a bit freaked out by this one but will see how it works in practice. Potentially this could harm the virality of links but it will definitely help with general retweet spam.
Retweet blocker is going to be interesting. This will allow you to block retweets from X person you follow but still allow you to see their general status updates. Word is this is account by account, you can’t block all retweets globally.
No comments on retweets – we all like to do it but for now you wont be able to add a comment onto a retweet. Twitter says they will look to add this functionality later on so don’t worry for now. Just retweet the old-fashioned way if you want to add a comment.
Tracking and Twitter clients
Trackable retweets – for all those stat hounds the new retweet is track-able so expect to see lots of new stat services building on the power of this option.
Clients like TweetDeck and Seesmic are due to update their applications soon and some iPhone apps already include the new retweet option. Twitter should have finished enabling all accounts in the next few weeks.
We will be creating new advice to deal with new retweets once we have had a chance to measure the impact of the changes, so stay tuned.