What’s Not to Like About Twitter’s New Retweet Feature?

Some Twitter Users Taking Issue with Twitter's New Retweeting Method

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[ Social Media]

Twitter is of course in the process of rolling out a new retweet feature. The feature adds a retweet button to each tweet on your timeline, much like the "reply" button that has always been there. However, one distinct difference between these two buttons is that where the reply button fills out your form with the proper information ("@username"), the retweet button sends the initial tweet to your followers’ timelines without giving you your own tweet.

Do you prefer the old way of retweeting or the new way? Share your thoughts here.

In other words, you don’t get to add anything to it, you’re just duplicating a tweet that came to you and sending it to your followers. You’re forwarding it.

New Retweet feature

Evan WilliamsThere are things to like about the feature.
For one it’s more convenient if you just want to pass on an interesting tweet. If you’re the one being retweeted, it puts you in the spotlight in other people’s streams rather than the person who retweeted you. It kind of feels like you’re getting more credit for your tweets, although if you are just tweeting a link to someone else’s blog post that might not necessarily come off as a positive. Twitter CEO Evan Williams put up an interesting blog post last week defending the feature before it even had much of a chance to get torn apart by users. He knew it would be controversial, and he even acknowledged that fact.

As happens when any heavily-used site makes changes, some people get upset about it. Lisa Barone at outSpoken Media made a list of "things that suck" about the new retweet feature, and she brings up a number of good points, but her biggest peeve seems to be that of the avatars of people she doesn’t know showing up in her stream.

Lisa Barone "Showing the unfamiliar avatar does not give me ‘more context’ for the tweet. It gives me less because I don’t know this individual," she says. "If I were to see Rae’s avatar, I’d know to trust the content. I’d know it already passed the snuff test. When I see someone else’s avatar, I’m thrown off and confused. Will I get used to it? No, I’ll simply learn to ignore things from people I don’t know."

She has a valid point in that seeing unfamiliar faces can be a bit off-putting, but aren’t the retweets still passing the "snuff test" since they are still being retweeted by people you follow? It’s not like these "strangers" are actually coming in and spamming us. It’s just a visually different way of presenting them. Whether or not we like that is one thing, but it’s a retweet from someone we’re following just as it was before in this regard. A great many Twitter users probably don’t even recognize half of the people they follow anyway.

That said, there are a number of other issues with the feature, as Barone points out. Some of the ones she touches on are:

– Can’t add own commentary (what if you don’t agree with what you’re retweeting?)

– Plays down user’s visibility in own network

– Changes the definition of retweeting (makes it more like a Facebook "like")

The feature is still in limited beta testing, so regardless of what you feel about the feature, there is a possibility it will change. Even still, if you don’t like the feature, you don’t have to use it. You can still use the classic "RT" method just as you have always done. You just have a new option now. Depending on how many of the people you follow use the new feature, your Twitter experience can be affected more or less by it.

Are you getting the new retweet feature yet? What is your opinion? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it. Tell WebProNews readers what you think about it.

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  • Houston Brown

    I use TweetDeck and the button they have to Retweet works just like I want it to. Saves me time and allows me to put in a comment. It seems to me that the experienced and heavy users are probably using a similar tool and may never see the real Twitter interface anyways. So why the fuss? You have a choice, don’t use it.

  • http://thespacehelmetshow.blogspot.com Dennis Jernberg

    I just got the new RT in beta today, and I actually like it. With one exception: it doesn’t allow comments yet. Only once they add the ability to add comments will it really be useful. Otherwise, it’s just an option, which I’m coming to use mainly for tweets too long to retweet the old way. There’s also one unnecessary click they’ll have to remove, too.

    Fortunately it’s still in beta. Things may change a lot before the new retweet goes wide.

  • http://allenmireles.com Allen Mireles

    I have been using the new retweet button in Beta and find it works well. Except that I tend to use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite more frequently than the Twitter interface. I am hearing noise about the lack of room for comments, a concern I share, but I expect that Twitter will add that in time. They have altered Twitter Lists now to provide room for descriptions so I Imagine they be responsive to user feedback on this as well.

  • http://workandfamily.bellaonline.com Vannie_Ryanes

    I have had mine for a week or more. At this point I am not all that fond of it. I like to see what and whom I have retweeted, you know like ‘bam’ in my face, rather than in a small corner at the bottom of a Tweet; I don’t want to have to look for it. And I like to see who else has RT’d, even when they are not in my follow circle, etc. I find often good connections that way.

    Also, I like to make comments. I did retweet a couple of Tweets but went back RTing. I am giving it time, maybe by the time it is out of beta, I will be able to do at least two of these things.

  • http://www.Twitter.com/billhibbler Bill Hibbler

    While I love the idea of making RT’s more convenient, I’d prefer the new button work like the reply feature.

    How valuable is a recommendation for, say a new WordPress widget, if I don’t know if it’s coming from Chris Brogan or my Realtor that discovered blogging two weeks ago?

    Often a RT is a way to start a conversation. Or a reciprocity thing that’s a great way to break the ice with someone I’d like to get to know better. Anonymity takes away both opportunities. And I like to know who’s retweeting me so I have an opportunity to thank them for spreading the word.

    And you made a great point, Chris, about what happens if I disagree with the post I’m retweeting? Or if I want to add a comment.

    Hopefully, Twitter will get this right before rolling out the feature across the board.


  • http://www.kevinfahey.net kevinfahey

    Never heard anything about it until yesterday. At first, I didnt know but once seen, used and liked. It works, saves time and helps activity.

    Enjoy All

  • http://mxportal.ru Guest

    Very informative!

  • http://www.nnetnetblog.com Steve D

    I don’t believe much is needed to be said.

  • House

    Yes i totally like the new design :)

  • Nancy

    I don’t like it… I almost never RT without adding some comment of my own, and this new way doesn’t give you the option of doing that. Furthermore, now I have to copy the tweet, paste it into my message field, type in the name of the person who tweeted it… it’s so inconvenient. I can imagine why they thought this was better.

  • http://zeropoint9.blogspot.com/ Zeropoint9

    *Changes the definition of retweeting (makes it more like a Facebook “like”)
    So it is use facebook will be better?I wonder
    but I still support Twitter anyway

  • http://www.deborahshinegarden.com Deb

    There are some things that I do like about it, for example, I can Retweet something I like without worrying about word count. However, I don’t like that I can’t add my own tag or comments to the tweet.

    Often, I want to say something about the thing I’m tetweeting and this feature doesn’t let me do that.

    My other gripe with the new retweet feature is that it only appears as an option in my newsfeed — not in any of my lists, which makes it very annoying to copy the tweet — switch to my home page — then paste the tweet into my update field.

  • http://ModelSuppliesBlog.com Anita Nelson

    I think the RT Button is a nice new choice. I like choices. RT in TweetVisor and TweetDeck still allows for edit and copy/paste would still allow for edit. It is more convenient for laptop users to quickly hit RT when wishing to share the tweet.

    I think it is sad for someone to ignore posts from new people. Isn’t that how we broaden our networks? I am sure there are a lot of unfamiliar avatars out there I should “get to know!”.
    Thank you for this post!
    Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

    • http://twitter.com/home COLLECTMISC

      If I am promoting my new auction site or a brand-new product I found, maybe my followers will retweet to thier friends? But this way any of my followers can retweet to all of their followers and then its like an explsion if a few of those people retweet to ALL of their followers. I would PAY for that kind of publicity. www.collectmisc.com

  • http://www.trafficconnection.com/ Lou

    I use to use FutureTweets.

    Now I see why that site was asked to end service.

  • http://www.uol.com.br N

    Nem sei doque se trata isso. ??????

  • http://articlepower.free.fr Article Marketing Power

    I’m quite open minded to new things. As far as I can see now, I like it. I think that anything that can speed up the RT process will be fine. Actually, just like Houston, I use Tweetdeck, because the RT is really faster having its own button.
    With this new feature, users working on a single account will find their tweet-time funnier, i think

  • http://www.netmagellan.com/ Ash Nallawalla

    I was selected early in this beta before this FOAF avatar and little icon appeared. I was at work where I also manage the account of a large company.

    In the olden days when you hit the Twitter RT button, you were presented with the text in its box ready to edit if necessary, then you could send it. Now, to my horror, my RT about American Airlines went out from the company’s account with a single click. I never got the chance to edit the tweet. Corporate Affairs were onto me in a flash but luckily the topic wasn’t too controversial — just out of context.

    Now I log out of the corporate account after doing the company tweets.

    I just noticed that Twitter has now added an Undo button for RTs – this might fix such disasters.

    • http://www.netmagellan.com/ Ash Nallawalla

      I confirm that the Undo feature is great for erasing an accidental RT. Just cleaned up my corporate boo boo.

  • http://www.iranshoop.com iranshoop

    selling multimedia products such as DVD , CD, Movie ,carton , Series

  • http://homebusinesshints.com Chuck Anthony

    Twitter gave me the Retweet feature 2 or 3 weeks ago and I have used it, but still RT with comments when compelled to do so. I like having the option. I think Williams knows how to use ‘controversy’ to stir up interest; gets people buzzing.

  • http://blog.maskil.info/ Maskil

    Twitter has taken a feature “invented” by its users and transformed it into something that nobody asked for. Retweeting has no value if it doesn’t allow me to add my 2 cents, e.g. even something as basic as whether I agree or not. Unless they’re prepared to listen to user feedback, I’ll stick with my copy and paste method of retweeting.

  • http://www.blackballonline.com Blackball Online Marketing

    Since I started using TweetDeck, I just use the interface for Twitter lists and for following new Tweeple. The Twitter interface has a history of being slow and cumbersome. I’ve got a feeling the new year will be bringing Twitter shaking news to the Twitternation. Read our Twitter posts at http://www.blackballonline.com/wordpress/. Thanks for the post and keep em coming.

  • Carlanne

    I am one of the Beta testers and I like it. It saves me time. If I want to add a comment I can do it the old way. Every second saved is one I can use elsewhere….like reading this post and commenting to it. I can cruise thru the RTs and if something catches my eye, I click the link or comment to it, if I not, I keep moving

  • http://ebook-site.com Bryan Quinn

    Twitter’s retweet button is useful if you want to RT your followers quickly with 2 clicks of the mouse button. However an option to tweet with or without a comment would be better.


  • http://www.ganeshagro.com/exporter/raisins.html Raisins

    I think the information presented will be useful to many people a lot. Gr8!! idea and a great blog. I appreciate your work & hope for some more informative information.

  • http://trafficmiracle.instantaffiliatewebsite.com/instantaffiliatewebsite Traffic Miracle

    I can appreciate the comparison but the retweet feature seems little like forwarding an email to me, much more like the little used and well hidden resend message feature available in at least Outlook 2007.

  • http://sites.google.com/psstnotox/ Guest

    I believe retweet should also include personal page url also, after all, that’s the whole purpose of tweeting, getting your url noticed! Right?

  • http://www.ndea.com Jose

    it makes my streamline look like spam

  • http://www.edhardyshop.uk.com/ ed hardy

    ed hardy ed hardy christian louboutin christian louboutin ed hardy sale ed hardy sale fhgbb

  • http://www.shellsmeanderings.com Marshell Russell

    Hello! I have been using the new re-tweet button for a couple of weeks now, & I like it …in some ways. Since it’s still in Beta, one can only hope Twitter is reading these posts or asking for opinions.
    I notice a button to the left of each re-tweet, it’s arrows; I found myself thinking maybe if they replaced this button with our logo maybe it would make it better? I’m not so worried about spam, I can always un follow those if they get to annoying.
    It’s really good when your in a hurry & want to get that tweet out to your followers. I sell on eBay , Bonanzle & Zazzle, & receive a lot of interesting tweets on those things I like to pass on to my followers.
    Then, I also belong to a group, OBS, and sometimes it would be much easier if we could add comments to our re-tweets. I also follow a lot of businesses, & it’s great to be able to push a button & just re-tweet their knowledge to my followers.
    I have another twitter account with Jimmy, & it does NOT have this feature yet. I’m finding my self spending two to three times the amount of time in that account just because of having to copy & paste.
    The problem is we are all different, so it’ll be impossible for twitter to accommodate us all. I have a lot of fun with twitter, & get lost in folks posts I read through re-tweets, sometimes ending up following them & making new friends, so for me it’s a good thing that just has to get better…like Twitter!

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    Hiya! I simply want to give an enormous thumbs up for the good data you could have here on this post. I shall be coming back to your blog for extra soon.

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