Posted August 14, 2009 9:36 am by with 12 comments

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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.

This is still a work in progress for Twitter and is subject to a lot of changes. You can read more about it either at the official Twitter blog or over at Mashable.

In the meantime, drop me a tweet or leave a comment with your thoughts on the planned system.

  • I agree, that sucks! I use RTs not only to spread quality information but to also spread quality people as well.

  • I’ve been using “REPOST” or “RP”, since it’s not service-specific, & in the long run can be more usable… will probably continue to do so…

  • I’ve always wondered why this feature was left out in the first place? I guess the users invented it way back when and Twitter just took this long to realize it was a needed feature?

    And they wonder why we all use things like Tweetdeck and rarely even look at our actual Twitter pages. Maybe this will help.

  • 1) You can still use the original Retweet methods if you want to.
    2) You can opt to start utilizing “Favorites” and occasionally link to your favorites in your twitter stream “i’ve favorited more tweets today. check them out!
    .-= sull´s last blog move by wordpress to establish and… =-.

  • Social Media: Make it Better!

    Gimme the ability to add a dynamic custom URL and then I’ll be impressed. Until this Commando can add trackable URL’s via his own account (with those handsome custom names) then it’s much ado about nothing…
    .-= Social Media Commando´s last blog ..GoodFellas Guide to Finding Your Online Voice =-.

  • I was just reading about this planned feature on the twitter blog, and I don’t like it. All I am wishing for is a re-tweet button on their web interface, re-tweeting in the format we are accustomed to. Getting the credit for the re-tweet is one thing, but more importantly having some strange tweeters show up in my timeline is meaningless to me. More important than the re-tweeted message is who it came from. So if I see Andy Beal re-tweeted something, I will read it because it came from Andy. It’s good to know we can still use the traditional way, but if our third-party tools like Tweetdeck implement twitter’s new API features, we might only be able to do it manually from now on, which sucks.
    .-= Biggi´s last blog ..Don’t Miss The Thirty Day Challenge 2009! =-.

  • “Will You Like Twitter’s Plans to Make Retweeting an Official Feature?”

    Keyboard manipulation is not one of my better skills, therefore, I look forward to the new official solution to my wreckless hand ons padding of keys for retweeting. I think it’s a great idea.

    There will always be someone who doesn’t like change. I’d rather the change, then continue to stumble.

    Yvonne Ashmore
    .-= Yvonne Ashmore´s last blog ..Sales Negotiation Training Not Required For Ikeler Ad Space Position =-.

  • Completely agree Social Media Commando. Been bitching about this for a long time now.
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..“Google Caffeine” The Next Major Search / Algorithm Update From Mountain View =-.

  • i think this is a great addition to the API. The ability to fully retweet an entire message, all 140 characters of it? Brilliant. No more silly editing, or trying to make messages even shorter to accommodate retweeting. I have opted out of retweeting a message simply because it was too long to edit down or I didn’t have the time. So this seems likely to me to encourage retweeting. That’s an ease-of-use issue.

    Also, the ability to block some retweeting that I don’t like makes it possible to increase the value of my twitter stream. Filtering is something the API needs.
    .-= James´s last blog ..Haptic Thingy =-.

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  • About time they added this feature. For such a popular site it was stupid the way it worked before.

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