Yesterday, Twitter released an anticipated new feature that allows users to retweet without using any of the precious 140 characters available. The new feature is only available on the official Twitter app for iOS now, but expected to roll out to Android and desktop apps soon.
In essence, this sounds like a win for users as well as marketers who use the (lucrative) Twitter experience to get their messages out there. The original concept of a retweet goes back to March 2007 when users were searching for a way to share a tweet someone else had published. Originally called an “echo,” retweets became quickly recognizable using the “RT” convention, much like the concept of using # to denote “hashtags” developed from the bottom-up by users. Twitter incorporated RT into its official platform and now provides a means to retweet without having to include RT as it has gained mainstream adoption (though some of us old timers that were there from the beginning still prefer this method).
However, marketers should be aware of a few issues with the new retweet convention as it makes its way into wider adoption. Good post here with some things to think about regarding sharing, stats, images, and “virality” (which is still very important on Twitter)…
Going viral on Twitter? It’s harder. The first retweet with comment is not a disaster, but the subsequent retweet with comment is. Few chances to get one more retweet.The previous Retweet button was a bad choice for marketers. The new one is even worse.