Twitter to bolster tools with 'retweet' function

Twitter plays catch-up to 3rd party apps

Micro-blogging service Twitter says it is working on a new tool to help you "retweet." Retweeting is jargon for re-posting something posted (or tweeted) by another user. Retweeting typically gives credit to the original poster. In offering this feature Twitter is just playing catch-up to what 3rd party apps already do.

Reposting or retweeting a mesage you like on Twitter.com can only be done via cutting and pasting the tweet and then adding attribution (such as RT: @username) at the beginning or the end of the post. But now Twitter is working on a new method to repost tweets on its online interface that will show in your friend's timeline only the original message you retweeted.

The new retweeting method is not yet ready for prime-time, as Twitter is still sketching out how to make this feature work more exactly, said the company's co-founder and Creative Director Biz Stone in a blog post last night. But the developers working on this project have put together some draft mock-ups (on the left, click to enlarge) to illustrate this feature.

According to the feature mock-ups from Twitter, when someone you follow retweets a tweet, it will appear in your home timeline. You can then hover over a tweet and a "Retweet" option will appear next to the now present "Reply" feature. After a confirmation message, the original tweet will appear in your friends' timeline together with a line underneath mentioning who else has reposted the message.

Twitter said that the new retweeting options should appear on its website "in a few weeks or so" but at first launch, the feature will be limited to a subset of users. The new retweeting options should appear around the same time in third-party Twitter clients such as TweetDeck (PC/Mac) or Tweetie (Mac), which already feature automatic reposting options.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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