Recently, I received a message on my Twitter page saying I was enrolled in a beta to test Twitter’s new Re-Tweeting feature. Huh, you say?
Wait, what is this again?
I believe the Twitter developers were so fed up with page after page of different people tweeting the same person’s tweet that they just added a new feature to make it a lot easier. Now, when you want to retweet someone’s post, you can just click the “Retweet” button (next to the reply button). All of your followers see the tweet, as-is, with a little tag at the bottom saying “Retweeted by [you]”. Check out the picture below, to see what I mean.
There’s also a few other things; ReTweets do appear on your profile, sans the user’s profile image. Additionally, if someone retweets a lot of content, and you find it annoying, you can turn off retweet notifications by going to their profile page and clicking the green “Retweet” icon below their name.
It becomes really helpful when you just get tired of copying and pasting, and keeps Twitter neat and tidy, which is probably a huge issue, seeing as Twitter sees ridiculous amounts of data every day. Additionally, it helps promote little tweets without making them massive trending topics, etc.
While the pros are nice, there are a few cons, too. Firs of all, this makes twitter a bit more like digg; retweeting has now become akin to “digging” a popular topic. Granted, Twitter, of all sites, is the last to be accused of copying other site’s ideas (don’t even get me started on Facebook), so its not such a huge deal. One thing that did get to me after a while was the fact that you can’t add your own little comments to retweets anymore. I’d usually add a jab or a thought to the end of retweets, so people knew that when I retweet “Go Hitler!” they know I mean “what was this person thinking?” and not “lulz good one bro.”
When will I see it?
As of right now, only a chunk of Twitter users get to see it, for testing purposes. If you are in the beta, and you retweet something, people outside the beta will see it as a standard retweet. I still wonder what happens if you retweet something over 160 characters; does it truncate the message for non-twitter users? Eh… not a huge deal.
Here’s Twitter’s instructional message, with arrows and everything! (click to zoom)