To the delight of many Tweeters, Twitter recently released a new tool and is beginning to make the user experience that little bit better. Facebook has been doing it for years but Twitter has finally enabled its users to COMMENT with a RETWEET! This is, in effect, the same as “sharing” something on their social media platform rival, Facebook. Or is it? In this blog post we’re looking at the pros and cons of Twitter’s New Tool – is it really what we’ve been waiting for?

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I saw the new addition to the fast-paced social media platform a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it out with @SoProJanet. To my delight I can now share a tweet without it swallowing up my 140 character limit as well as linking the original tweet to the new one – hurrah! However, I then noticed that once I’d commented and clicked “retweet”, the icon didn’t highlight to indicate that I had indeed already retweeted said tweet. Confused? Me too! I don’t know about you but Janet and I are visual people so let me try show you with some pictures…

1. Original Tweet by @SoProEsther – note: you can’t “retweet” your own tweets

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 2. @SoProJanet clicked the “retweet” Icon (circled below)

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3. Gives @SoProJanet the new option to “retweet with comment” > clicked in the text box and wrote comment

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4. @SoProJanet wrote a comment on @SoProEsther’s original tweet > clicked “tweet” – note that the button name changed from “retweet” to “tweet”

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5. I was then notified of the “retweet with comment

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6. The “original retweet with comment”  looks like this (see below) – Fabulous!!! It brings the “original tweet” as a mini preview with it.

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So at this point I was really happy with Twitter’s nifty new tool – more characters to play with and it takes the original tweet with it keeping it in context – which can be hard to manage through the usual Twitter mentions and replies.

Now, I came across an interesting blog about this where they explained what they found happened when they took the new “retweet with comment feature” further… (they were just that bit quicker than I at picking this up).

Unfortunately, like the other blogger, I’ve also found that if you want to “retweet” a “retweet with comment”, the new tool fails to take the original tweet with it! So it can easily loose it’s context. So what happens when the “retweet with comment” is retweeted? Confused? So am I… OK let’s walk through it with pictures again:

7. What happens when @SoProEsther “retweets with comment” the “retweet with comment” by @SoProJanet?

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8. The latest “retweet with comment” (by me @SoProEsther) looks like this (see below). Note that the “original tweet” is lost and the “original retweet with comment” by @SoProJanet becomes a URL link within the mini preview (highlighted below).

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9a. To view the previous tweets and retweets you can click on the mini preview box (again, highlighted below).

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9b. Clicking the preview box takes you to the “original retweet with comment” by @SoProJanet – which then links through to the “original tweet” by @SoProEsther

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10. If we go back to the very “original tweet” by @SoProEsther you can see that although @SoProJanet clearly retweeted it with a comment, this does not register (see highlight). It is processed like a “mention” and not a “retweet”.

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11. In order to register a “retweet with comment” you still have to go back and click “retweet” as normal (without a comment). Notice how the button says “retweet” if you do not add more text/comment.

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12. This then shows the indication and registers as a “classic retweet”

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So in short:

A. The classic retweet has stayed the same – shares a tweet as it is and is indicated as a retweet.
B. “Retweet with Comment” enables users to comment without using up their 140 characters and it displays a mini preview of the previous tweet with it.
C. “Retweet with Comment” does not register as a retweet and it is not indicated as a retweet on the original tweet – however, tagged people are notified
D. After 2 retweets with comment, it’s hard to keep everything in context because the previous tweet becomes a URL link

Has that made any sense? Are you confused yet? Well we think it’s something which comes with practise. We’ve said it a lot recently but we find it more effective to “learn whilst doing”. So our verdict it that in order to understand Twitter’s New Tool, you just need to use it and try it for yourself.

This is all a step in the right direction for Twitter but I think it has a few creases to iron out. I’d personally like it to always retweet the original tweet with any “retweet with comment” but I have no clue as to whether this will be addressed in the near future or not.

Have you noticed and used the “retweet with comment” feature yet? How have you found it and do you share my thoughts about keeping them in context?

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