Death of Old School RT and New Rules of the Twitter Game

What is ReTweet
‘Retweet’ in Twitter is somewhat equivalent to ‘Like’ in Facebook. If you liked a Tweet or want to share it with your followers, you can Retweet it. ReTweet is also referred as “RT” in Twitspace. We can define ReTweet as “To repost another user's message on Twitter with giving credit to him”

Old and New School ReTweet
Initially ReTweets (RT in short) started as an extension to “Replies”. So if I have to ReTweet your tweet, I take your tweet, embed “RT @your-twitter-usrename” in the tweet and again Tweet it. The original author of the Tweet, can see the new Tweet in his Replies/ Mentions section. Later Twitter realized that it is not the most efficient way of ReTweeting and so they introduced a new method of ReTweeting which was quicker but had lesser control. On the Web Interface, you can just click on ReTweet and Voila, you are done. You have shared the post on your Twitter and also given credit to the original author.

Disadvantages of New School RT
But not everybody enjoyed the newer method of ReTweet and these were three primary reasons –

  1. It has less control than older method of ReTweet where you could modify the Tweet before ReTweeting
  2. The ReTweeted tweet doesn’t appear in the Mentions or Replies section of the original author and original author has to check a separate section named “ReTweets => Your Tweets ReTweeted” for seeing who all have ReTweeted his content.
  3. Twitter Clients like TweetDeck, HootSuite and Seesmic were not well integrated with the new style of RT. Some clients had no direct way to see those new style of RTs.

Due to above disadvantages Old School RT was still the most popular method of RT on Twitter.

Recent Changes on 20th April 2010
Now, Twitter has changed the rules of ReTweet again. Yesterday Twitter has made some changes to the system, so that every time someone uses the “retweet” button on Twitter web interface (or new method of retweet from his Twitter client) to retweet, original tweet author can see the ReTweeted tweet in @replies section. This seems very much logical change.

New Rules of the Twitter Game
ReTweets were the way for promotion and building relationship on Twitter. The problem number 1 mentioned above is still there with the new style RT, but the problem number 2 and 3 seems to be solved with this change. So with the time we will see -

  1. Old School ReTweets are dying
  2. More and More new style RT and hence more credit to the original author.
  3.  Easier to manage – Easier to ReTweet which means more RT.

Do you see any other implication on Twitter and Twitter user if old school ReTweet method dies?


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