Since the first time twitter announced the introduction of the retweet button, I was a little bit skeptic about it. The only rule Retweets have is to put “RT” before the original tweet. Beyond that there are amazing ways to personalize the RT function.
Anyway, the actual retweet button is far more complex than that and it keeps a useful track of retweets so I can have a list of basically “Retweets by others” , “Retweets by you” and “Your tweets, retweeted”
The only thing I really don’t like of the implemented retweet function is the way retweets are shown in the time line.
For example, I follow @tangerinejp and @Oren_The_Red and they follow me as well, but @Oren_The_Red doesn’t follows @tangerinejp So if I do a RT of @Oren_The_Red, the new retweet function puts the actual avatar of @Oren_The_Red into @tangerinejp’s timeline which is much better than a simple RT. I mean that it’s really good for @Oren_The_Red, because people will get attracted by a good avatar and eventually they will click on the user and follow him.
Now comes @jonnyli and he follows me and he follows @Oren_The_Red as well. In this case @jonnyli won’t see the retweet I did to @Oren_The_Red because he is already following him. But that’s not all; @Oren_The_Red won’t see that I retweeted him!! The only way for Oren to notice it is to go to the retweet records section and check who retweeted him.
RT has several implications from a social point of view. It’s not only a retransmission of information. It’s also a friendly way of showing the following:
- Hey dude I’m not just following you, I’m really reading you.
- I also love your tweet, it’s interesting and it’s worth retweeting it, it helps me putting good contents to my followers and it will help you to get promoted among my followers as well.
- And I want you to notice it, just to see that I agree about what you say.
Well, all these social-human-information, get totally lost with the new retweet implementation. Of course @Oren_The_Red can check it but we are busy people and it’s preferable to have that information just in front of our time-line instead to search for it.
There is one more function, that has no relation with human feelings, as the previous ones, but it’s really important because it’s related with the nature of Internet itself.
We live in a big rock and only a certain percentage of my followers will read my tweets because the other ones are just sleeping, or they are busy with other stuff, or they cannot connect in that moment or whatever. So instead to worry about it and instead to try to find the perfect system to force our followers to read our tweets (and sometimes insistent people are really annoying me) just let’s the natural random behavior of my followers to RT me and remind the others what I said before, showing them what they also liked about what I said.
In this case, if I retweet @Oren_The_Red and @jonnyli was not aware of Oren’s tweets, maybe he will read the timeline in that very moment and notice @Oren_The_Red’s tweet thanks to my RT.
So I would love to see in my timeline when people that I follow get retweeted and when somebody retweet me. Just that, as the manual RT works.
What do you think about the new retweet function?
Are you a traditional RTer or a new fashioned one?