My Take on the New Twitter Retweet Button (Screencast)

11Nov09

(Update: As of now, I no longer have the new Retweet function. Hopefully when it comes back it won’t render my screencast completely useless…)

Over the past few days Twitter has been rolling out the new Retweet functionality and I was finally graced with the controversial feature last night.  My first take?  I don’t get it.  But after spending some time reading about it and clicking various links in my Twitter account, I think I figured it out.  Of course, when something takes me a bit of time to understand I immediately realize that there are probably more people like me out there…and that makes it screencast material.

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When you opt to click on “Retweet”, the next step is to just select “yes” and that tweet will be forwarded to your followers.  I say forwarded because it will take the original users tweet, with their twitter icon and all, and place it in your followers Twitter streams.  You’ll be given credit underneath the tweet, but the person who originated the text will get the credit.  There’s no more need to alter the original text so that you can fit in, “RT @molzy RT @maureenmcd,” and the content will be delivered to your followers as it was meant to be seen, by the original author.  If someone you follow tends to Retweet nonsense that you have no interest in then you can simply visit their profile page and opt out of receiving their Retweets.

I’ve noticed a lot of grumbling about the new Retweet feature and frankly, I don’t see why.  You can still Retweet the old way (RT @someone RT @anotherperson RT @thisisgettingconfusing) and you won’t be punished for it.  Personally I don’t see why adding unnecessary text to another persons tweet is beneficial.  If you didn’t originally write the text, but you think it  would be useful to your followers, why not just forward the authors work and be done with it?

If you’re still on the fence about the new feature, or if you simply don’t get it, then check out the screencast below to see my take on the new Twitter Retweet (best viewed in HD in full screen):



2 Responses to “My Take on the New Twitter Retweet Button (Screencast)”

  1. Just a note on why adding text to an RT can be important: commenting. Whether you disagree rabidly or agree wholeheartedly with a statement, being able to comment on it in the content you’re sharing with your followers is important. Sure, you can comment in a follow-up tweet, but that can get lost. Especially with 3rd party apps, (yes, they do drop tweets, but the trade-off is a functionality that outstrips Twitter’s site by a mile.) As for complete text, Tweetdeck has a, “reference,” function that gives a short url to original tweet, and leaves plenty of room for comment. In-line comments on a tweet would be a great feature on either Twitter or in a 3rd party app. Also, the retweets made with the Twitter RT feature do not show up in clients at all. This seems odd.

  2. I agree with the bit about the added text on RTs. How many times have you Rted something and left a comment, only to confuse everyone other than who the comment was for? Plus, I always got people thinking that RTs were something I said (like if they were new and didn’t know what RT meant).

    Then it seems like these poor Twitter Newbies start feeling scared thinking they just broke a sacred Twitter law and they’re facing the Twitter Inquisition.

    That’s how Twitter “guide to Twitter rules and follower count hierarchies” and “how to Tweet for profit” has made it for people who haven’t yet had a chance to look around, get a few clues on how to smoothly enter, and see for themselves just how fun and powerful Twitter really is.

    The point is this…

    I LOVE you guys and your simplistic, matter of fact, “this is how this works, we don’t have anything else (political) to say about this tool. We are just showing you how it works, you guys do with it whatever you see fit.”

    It’s so great, so perfect. Do you sell your videos for use in courses or even as a handout type of thing for an e-class? I have been updating my SMM Academy core stuff in between other projects forever. I’d love to just knock some of these great little new tools like that List service I just saw on the blog and Pingg.

    I really don’t have the time and neither do my students to always have to wait whenever there is something I have to investigate in the web 2.0 tools frontier. I would probably hire someone like you guys to keep ME updated on the most promising new tools, services, features, etc. and make some of these short screen captures that make it real easy for a newbie to know why they would want to use it and how to use it most effectively.

    I don’t know, maybe you guys might want to hear what it actually is that I’m about, I’d want to know a bit more about you, but at least I could get started sharing you girls with those who I know would really enjoy your explanations.

    @Web20Empire



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