Twitter is one of the most popular forms of social media, a real heavy-hitter right up there with Facebook and Pinterest. Recently, Twitter has rolled out a new function that brings a new dimension to the world of retweeting.
Let’s delve into what’s changed, and why it’s totally awesome.
What’s A Retweet?
First of all, a pause to define a retweet for those who aren’t up on their Twitter-speak. A retweet is a tweet from another account that you then turn around and send along to your followers. It has a Facebook analog, that being the Share command.
The Way It Used To Be
Once upon a time, if you wanted to retweet a particularly interesting tweet, that was all you could really do. If you wanted to stuff a personal comment in there, along with the original tweet, well, good luck with that. There wasn’t much room for commentary.
The Way It Is Now
Twitter, in its infinite wisdom, has changed things so that you can add a 116-character comment along with the actual retweet. When you initiate a retweet, you’re actually taken to a new screen where you can add your comment.
In other words, Twitter has increased its functionality so that its re-sent messages enjoy the same conveniences as the re-shared messages on other social media outlets such as Google Plus and Facebook have.
Why Is This Change So Important?
Although people on social media do routinely share without comment, there are those instances where a lack of comment causes a misunderstanding. Let’s put it another way. Say you’re on Facebook and you’ve read an interesting article online about bad breath that happens to have one particular point that’s more tangential than anything else, but you know your better half would appreciate it. So, you send them the link to this article on halitosis without any explanation.
What sort of message do you think they’ll get from receiving such an article link? And how many acts of contrition and apology do you think you will have to perform before you’re forgiven, if ever?
On the other hand, if you had included a comment along with the link, something like “Subject of the article aside, check out the passage about how bad breath can be a symptom of gastric disorder. Maybe that’s my uncle’s problem?”
See? No ambiguity, no possibility that the recipient will take it the wrong way. No sleeping on the couch.
Now you have that same ability to clarify your tweets before you end up sending all of your Twitter followers the implication that their breath could knock a buzzard off a dung cart at 100 yards. Everyone wins!
It’s a sad fact of Internet life that communicating online is particularly prone to misinterpretation or taking things out of context. With Twitter’s new retweet function, you can actually say what you mean and not be misunderstood. It may even encourage more people to practice retweeting, therefore exposing more readers to awesome, share-worthy content.