Twitter Betas New Retweet Function

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For those Twitter users who are still using Twitter through a web browser (do people really still do that?), Twitter is beta testing a new through-the-browser retweet function. Not everyone yet has access to this new retweet function, so we thought that we’d show it to you.

The new retweet function not only makes retweeting easier, but it allows those who have the funtion enabled to more readily identify a retweeted message. This is done through the inclusion of a “this is a retweet” icon, that looks like this:twitter-retweet-icon.


If you are part of the beta testing group, when you log in to your Twitter account via the browser you will see this:

twitter-retweet

Of course, Twitter users who use a third-party Twitter application such as TweetDeck or Twhirl have had a retweet function for ages, but it’s great that Twitter is finally adding it.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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2 thoughts on “Twitter Betas New Retweet Function

  1. Hi Anne,

    Twitter is, sadly, not adding anything close to what Tweetdeck and Twhirl offer. Those two apps (+ the fantastic PowerTwitter Firefox plugin) setup a retweet all ready for a final edit by you…leaving you in complete control of what goes out in your company’s name, to include fixing spelling or punctuation mistakes of the original poster (OP), paring down extraneous language, removing bad language, removing political jabs related to a link, removing sarcasm, removing long-winded and often unnecessary mention of the website name to which a link will go and, last but not least, removing any “wow” or “check this out” that wastes space while diminishing the chance that others will retweet the retweet and give you credit for doing so.

    What Twitter is doing is somewhat like TweetMeme: they give you no option of editing the tweet. TweetMeme doesn’t let you see what you will be tweeting until its already been tweeted but at least they make the tweet come from you, which means people will give you credit not only when they read it directly, but – as important – you will get credit when one of your followers retweets the retweet.

    The new Twitter function, which should be renamed “Like This” or LT, assures you what the tweet will look like after you “like it”, but the OP’s avatar will be there and, even though you will get a minor credit note at the bottom, if one of your followers “retweets” either the new or old way from there, you will be left out of the equation and get no credit.

    Now, human nature says we don’t RT 100% altruistically. We want to show that we are being helpful to the community and most often those we retweet develop a bond with us.

    Worst of all – anyone who has retweeted something along the chain that finally got to you…will not get the credit in a world where the OP’s original tweet just keeps getting repeated. People will lose the incentive to RT if they know that they can be mainly responsible for a tweet’s RT success but not get any credit for it.

    This LT function seems like a cynical way to save server resources because these tweets are “metadata”…meaning they are really just the original tweet (URL and all).

    I find this scary: If the OP delete the original tweet, your work in retweeting will have been for nought – deleting the head kills the tail. If the government can get a “dangerous Twitter account” deleted, everything that person had ever said and been retweeted (the new way) will just disappear from all our timelines.

    So I’ll stick to the old-fashioned SMA-RTs. I do hope Twitter changes the name of this new function to LT (Like This).

    BTW, I use the web to Twitter about 33% of the time when I’ve got PowerTwitter working on Firefox. Twitter’s new update has temporarily disabled this and thus the ability to easily RT in a manner where I can edit/control what goes out.

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