The Dilemma of the New Retweet

In: Twitter

11 Nov 2009

As Twitter Team is rolling out the new Retweet functionality to a selected group, things are getting clearer everyday in terms of what the deal we are getting with this new system of Retweeting.
MediaSosial managed to be included in this beta roll-out, so I had a chance to try it early.


After having been playing around for a day or two, I have to say that Twitter has integrated the new functionality with the rest of the user interface quite nicely.

Updates ON or Updates OFF

First of all, you can actually turn on or off Retweet Updates from a specific user (just in case this user does a lot of Retweets) just by toggling the (new) Retweet icon from the user’s Twitter page.


New Retweeting Sytle

Retweeting is as simple as clicking on the Retweet link on an individual Tweet on your Timeline (or on the actual Tweet Page), though you have to confirm by clicking YES button whether you really want to Retweet that Tweet.



After a Tweet has been Retweeted, the Retweet link will change to Retweeted, follows by a link to the Undo option (I presume this is to retract your Retweet, though how it is going to work practically I’m not too sure).  The Retweeted Tweet will also be marked by a description that it has been Retweeted by you.


Which one is which?

To spot a Tweet that has been Retweeted by one your following, Twitter gives indication by marking the Tweet with the Retweet icon, and also (at least for now) pointing it with a notification box.


Of course, then you can Retweet this too :)


New Sidebar Menu and it’s called – Retweets

Another addition is the Retweets menu, which you can locate in the sidebar under Favorites.  Clicking on this menu will show you the Retweets page.  In this page you see 3 type of lists represented by 3 tabs. Each of these tabs will show you, in turn, ‘Retweets by others‘, ‘Retweets by you‘, and ‘Your tweets, retweeted‘.  Pretty self-explanatory I think.


I did some experiment on how this page would look like when people are Retweeting a lot. Here is what I’ve got at the moment.  One of the Tweet is showing how many people Retweeted it as well as a list of Avatars ( I wonder how many Avatars will fit on that row).


That’s Awesome! But …

These are all Twexcellent! BUT … my (big) problem is, I don’t really use the web interface that much!  And I’m sure many of you would have the same problem.  Many of us use 3rd Party App to access Twitter extensively, and for some of us exclusively.

So, the big question is, what are the 3rd Party App Developers going to do about it?

Already some people said that they would not use the new Retweet function if it’s not integrated properly into their beloved 3rd Party App.


The ‘real‘ problem is, as you probably could see from the screenshot earlier, that Twitter’s own implementation of Retweeting prevents the Retweeter to ‘add‘ additional comment, or ‘change‘ the actual text on the Retweeted Tweet itself, i.e. it’s going to Retweet it Verbatim, whilst the current implementation would allow us to add or change the text.

Now, I admit that I was also one of the people who were religiously against this new implementation, because I always like to add my own comment on the Retweet, or just trimming the text so that it would fit the 140 characters restriction.

This was until one day I found my Timeline was full of users who were using Retweet to Reply to their followers!  At first I thought they were new users who just joined and needed a bit of education, but alas these are a bunch of Zealots who thought they knew better and didn’t want to accept the truth :)  They are just a lost cause, which was why I thought that this new implementation of Retweet was a great invention that would finally stop them to do what they are currently doing, or at least making it more difficult to do it (when they press Retweet, and realize that they can’t add a reply to it, that would teach them something).
In truth, I really hope that the 3rd Party App developers would integrate the new Retweet functionality into the existing one, but also retain the old one, so whoever still wants to do add comments or change the text still can do it.
Indeed from what I heard and read in this blog post, at least one of the 3rd Party App (Tweetie) would do just that.  They will use Retweet for the new implementation, and for the old one they will call it ‘Quote Tweet‘.
I’m still waiting for answers from other 3rd Party Apps.

QT vs RT, I think that’s a nice idea.

I’ve got an answer from Seesmic:


Join the conversation and tell me what you think about this new Retweet on the comment below.

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5 Responses to The Dilemma of the New Retweet


Twitter Retweet: A ‘Like’ Function in Steroids — jungleG

November 11th, 2009 at 17:05

[...] Here’s a great post that talks more about this new functionality. [...]



November 12th, 2009 at 00:52


so the RT things are still alive? reborn as QT :D :D



November 12th, 2009 at 01:39

Yup, something like that :D


Twitter Design Decision For The New Retweet – Demystified - Media Sosial

November 15th, 2009 at 23:34

[...] to explain the reasoning behind their decision when they designed this new feature. I wrote on earlier post, that things were getting clearer everyday when I was using the new Retweet.  But just when I [...]


Twitter Retweet: A ‘Like’ Function in Steroids

November 27th, 2009 at 06:01

[...] Here’s a great post that talks more about this new functionality. [...]

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