I finally got the new retweet feature turned on on my Twitter account today, and unlike Twitter lists, I find this to be a horribly designed addition. For example, take a look at this:
How does this help me? Why is
there no information telling me which one of the people I follow retweeted this guythe information about who retweeted it so small and easy to miss? [See UPDATE section below] If this were a tweet that I found valuable, I could count that value towards that person I follow for having the insight to retweet it. If this tweet were a tweet that I found useless, vulgar, offensive, or horrible, I could also count that against the person I follow who retweeted it, and possibly unfollow someone I really shouldn’t be following. Also, there’s no commentary from my friend telling me why he/she thought the tweet was worth retweeting.
As is, all the social goodness of the community-created retweet has been stripped bare from this item thanks to Twitter’s horrible attempt at institutionalizing it. I have no idea who shared it with me. I’m just left seeing someone who I don’t know in my timeline, which increases the chances that I’ll totally skim over it and not pay it the attention that I might have paid it had it been the avatar of a friend with a note and a RT.
If Twitter thinks this is the makings of a good social network, Twitter is doomed to be replaced in the longrun.
Stop dictating why retweet works the way it does and try building something useful for your userbase that enhances what they were already doing with a simple two characters.
UPDATE: As soon as I posted this, I saw this other retweet and noticed that Twitter’s “helpful” pop up telling me what a retweet was actually blocked the actual info about who retweeted it (which is there; it’s just very small and hidden). Here it is:
So now at least I know that I should unfollow CtrlFollow for retweeting Paris Hilton, so that’s something, but everything else I noted above holds true. Even by design, that little note about who retweeted it is so small that if you’re quickly skimming through your tweets, you’ll still miss it / you might brush past a good share by a trusted source.