On November 5 2009, Twitter blogged about the limited roll-out of its Retweet feature. Yesterday, the feature is activated on my Twitter page. Each update now comes with Retweet button, in addition to the Reply and Favorite buttons. Previously, it was cumbersome to retweet on Twitter web – copy-and-paste the tweet into the update box, add ‘@’ to tweet author, type ‘RT’ and finally, click the update button. Twitter clients like Seesmic, Tweetdeck and Orsiso already made the retweeting process easier with their single click Retweet button.
Twitter reconceptualized the way one views a retweet. Previously, when you retweet, you bring a particular update into your timeline and you can freely edit its text. With the new Retweet feature, Twitter froze the text and tightly coupled the update text with its author. Click the Retweet button, the entire quote (as is) and profile pic of the originator will appear on your timeline. Pro: Original author of retweeted update will remain clearly visible, even after a long chain of retweets. Con: With the new Twitter Retweet, it is not possible to add comment or shorten an update before retweet. However, one can always revert back to the old ‘RT’ way.
On Twitter web, there’s also a new page dedicated to Retweets. There, retweets are organized into three tabs, Retweets by Others, Retweets by You and Your Tweets, Retweeted. In ‘Your Tweets, Retweeted’ section, you can track who retweeted your updates. In ‘Retweets by You,’ a list of people who have also shared the updates you’ve retweeted. And yes, in the Facebook world, Retweet is called Like.
Update: You can’t retweet update of your friend with protected profile.