Twitter is rolling out the new Retweet function and my account is one of the beta accounts that was able to test out the new retweet functionality.Â First of all, to even know if your account is able to use the new retweet you must use the twitter.com homepage as at the time of this article HootSuite, Twaiter and Tweetdeck don’t yet support the new Twitter Retweet function.
The first thing you will notice is that when you look at someone who you are following you see the new “Retweet” symbol which looks a lot like a recycling symbol.Â This symbol indicates you will see all retweets in your timeline from this users.
The next thing you will notice (when the new Twitter Retweet fully rolls out and your account has it) is that there is a new “Retweet” button on each of the tweets in your friends timeline and you hover over it to “reply, DM or fave” but the biggest change will be the new retweet symbol you will see in some of your timeline messages.
Now when somebody retweets a message you will no longer see a RT @username RT @username anymore, instead you will see this retweet symbol and the original persons tweet. No matter how many people retweet the message, the original message will always remain intact and there won’t be any prepended RT @username added to the retweet.
This will start making peoples tweets show up in your friends timeline even if you are not following them, so if one of your friends Retweets one of their followers you will see that persons tweet even if you aren’t following them. This may be confusing at first but if you look at the tweet, there is a new message at the bottom that tells you who the person was who retweeted it that was in your friend list.
These changes are dramatic enough that I think most twitter programs will have to do some serious recoding to figure out how to implement, they will need to add these little retweet logo’s into the tweet stream and have additional options to show who tweeted them. I hope Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will fully support the new Retweet functionality by the time it goes fully public.
I personally think this will be excellent for original tweet creators, their tweets will never be altered when retweeted. This also means though when you retweet an article you are only retweeting the original person who created the tweet, and the other people who retweeted won’t be included as happens with the RT @username RT @username…etc, which may means that you will not likely be as noticed for performing retweets and retweets will truly be more about promoting the original persons tweet instead of tagging long for the ride.
What do you think of the retweet functionality, let me know your opinion.