Twitter is planning on making the act of ReTweeting an official Twitter feature. Right now, it's just some crazy phenomenon started by users. It wasn't all that far-fetched, really. People have been using @username to respond to comments on blogs for years.
However, Twitter plans to post those ReTweets in a different way. The ReTweet will appear as a regular Tweet, with the avatar of the original Tweeter and everything but underneath, it will say "ReTweeted by so and so" in tiny text.
I do not like this idea at all. Neither does Dan Zarella, arguably the most knowledgeable of the ReTweeting trend. He has done studies on ReTweeting. He is a big ReTweeting geek (that's meant with the nicest sentiments).
Writing on his blog, Zarella explains:
I follow people because I trust and enjoy their point of view, I don't nessecarily trust the POV of people I don't follow, so using the original poster's picture and name in my timeline destroys any social proof the ReTweeter may have lent the Tweet.
I agree. I want it to be obvious when something is a ReTweet. I think I even pay attention to ReTweets more because the nature of a ReTweet is something cool and/or newsworthy or something we wish we'd said but didn't think of it.
Having said that, many people ReTweet using the "via" formula. This happens automatically with some desktop clients. The designer behind the Twitter adoption of ReTweeting does and therefore, that must explain why she designed the new feature that way.
Twitter should just add a simple feature that allows BOTH. Let those who wish to ReTweet do so and those who wish to Via do so. Plus, Twits should be allowed to decide how they would like to view the shared Tweets. Doing away with a popular format that most likely helped spread the use of Twitter does not seem like a smart move to me.
But what's YOUR opinion? Comment below.
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