Twitter, Inc. occasionally hardcodes informal norms into official features. One community practice they've recently upgraded to an official feature is the Retweet (RT).
Here are 4 reasons you should use the official Retweet feature:
- You don't have to edit or abbreviate the original tweet. With the official Retweet feature, you no longer need to squeeze "RT @username: " into the message, saving you precious characters.
- Your followers don't want to see the same tweet twenty times. When you use the official Retweet feature, Twitter automatically hides the duplicate tweet from your followers if they already follow the same person.
- Twitter will show the original tweeter's avatar instead of yours. With the official Retweet feature, the original tweeter's picture shows up and you're relegated to a byline below the tweet.
- Twitter's better at counting official retweets. Retweets are critical part of expanding your reach beyond your usual audience, so it's good to know when they occur. Twitter now sends a nice little email notification when you're Retweeted. It even tells you how many followers the Retweet went to.
So how do you use the official Retweet feature? If you're using the official Twitter client on a Mac or PC, just click on a tweet and press 'T' on your keyboard. Or you can right click on the tweet, select 'Retweet,' and let Twitter do its thing.
On the mobile Twitter app, just look for the little arrows that sort of resemble a recycling logo. If you're using TweetDeck, select "Retweet now" rather than "Edit then Retweet."
Now go forth and Retweet!
P.S. Did you know that using the @ symbol when replying to people on Twitter was started by Twitter users themselves, not by the company? Twitter, Inc. later built it into the platform as a feature after seeing it take off with users.
Matt Stempeck is New Media Manager at NOI