If you’re a new Twitter user, you’ve probably stumbled over the correct etiquette for "retweeting" someone else’s tweet. Do you use "RT: @andybeal…." or "Retweeting @andybeal….."? And what about those precious characters lost when you retweet? We only get 140 to start with!
Well, Twitter has watched the practice of retweeting closely and thinks it has an official solution. The question is, will you like it?
The plan is to add a "Retweet" link to each tweet in your timeline. It’ll look like this:
Once you’ve retweeted, you’ll see that Twitter didn’t add "Retweet @andybeal" anywhere in the actual text. Instead, it will add a small discrete note below the tweet. Like this:
That will save you from using any of your 140 character limit, but–and I think its a big but–the credit you would have earned from retweeting is downplayed. Why is this significant? Well, let’s be honest. Part of us retweets because we want to show our followers that we’re following cool people and we’re sharing cool stuff with them. When you retweet, you earn a little bit of "twitter cool points" in the process. With the planned system from Twitter, your credit for the retweet is somewhat subdued. Not a big deal, but trust me, there are enough retweeting fools out there that will be upset at this move.
One concept that Twitter is kicking around is that you’ll be able to turn off retweets that are annoying–hopefully at the user level.
In the meantime, drop me a tweet or leave a comment with your thoughts on the planned system.