Why “new RT” is good

I like twitter’s “new RT” feature, I think “new RT” is good. Here are some reasons:

  1. Now you can retweet messages that already had 140 characters or close to that. People don’t need to be concerned about keeping their already short messages even shorter so their followers can forward them.
  2. It cuts off the accumulation of intermediary names in the messages. With the traditional RT people end up writing down the names of the complete chain of people that retweeted the thing, and that goes on taking up message space. Eventually you might decide not to forward a message just because it seems it went too far. That’s absurd!
  3. Avoid duplicates. You don’t see a same message that your friends liked being posted again and again.
  4. It helps separating metadata like date, sender, etc from the actual contents of messages.

So the official RT feature helps more and longer messages be retweeted more often and by longer distances on the user graph, and takes all care of giving credit to where it’s due.

And now reasons people should stop complaining:

  1. If still you want to RT the “old way”, you can. Just do it! The “old RT” was not a twitter feature, it’s nothing in the program. It’s just text you type. You are still free to copy another user’s message, and write down “RT” or “via” on the side, or, guess what, do anything you like!
  2. You can block retweets sent by specific followers of yours if you dislike their forwarding action. Notice you can’t block “old RTs”, unless you use some heavy scripting. You can also block people you don’t follow, and not receive their tweets even if friends of yours forward them, another possibility that is unavailable with “old RT”.

Now, I do agree the twitter website could offer more tools. They could offer to put your contact’s picture instead of the stranger’s, they could offer to let you block all new RTs… But these are all functionalities that will come on top of the “new RT” feature existing in the system. They just have to change the site now, and every programmer of alternative twitter clients, either user or server-side, can also implement these things by themselves. If the users are not seeing these functionalities it’s not “new RT” who’s to blame, but the developers, including twitter themselves as developers of their website apart from maintainers of the service.

Now spread the word! 😉


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