Twitter Adds Retweet Button

November 13, 2009

... and then takes it away

Twitter recently made changes to the way people retweet in a limited beta release of their retweet button.  Usually, retweets are done by appending 'RT' to someone else's tweet.   

Example Tweet:  JonNegrini I'm blogging about Twitter 

Example Retweet: JoeSchmoe RT @JonNegrini I'm blogging about Twitter

In this example I made the original tweet and Joe Schmoe retweeted my tweet.  Something to remember in this method is that tweeters need to leave room in the 140 characters if they want to be retweeted.  This room allows the retweeter to append the 'RT' and the @name.  

The new beta method Twitter has been testing works a little differently. Their new retweet system would use a button to perform retweets and an icon, rather than 'RT', to identify retweets.

Example by Twitter:


Button in Action:

There are a lot of questions about the new system.  Does this affect the 140 character rule now that we no longer need to append 'RT' and @name?  Will this affect the countless API sites and programs out there that depend on those appendages for their system to work?

Well, the good news is that it doesn't matter anymore.  At least for now, Twitter has done away with the retweet button.  An official statement from the Twitter blog states that they took down the beta test in order to work out some bugs, however some have suggested it was partially due to the angry mob of anti-twitter-buttoners starting "Save the RT" groups throughout the Internet.

Your RTs are safe for now, so keep on retweeting like you always have and check back to the @smtusa blog for more news when (and if) the button returns.

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