By Harry McCracken | Friday, August 14, 2009 at 9:47 am
One of the best things about Twitter is that most of the best things about Twitter have been invented by its users. Such as the idea of addressing other people by using their @names and sharing their tweets by retweeting them. Little by little, Twitter formalizes these inventions as part of the service, and a new blog post by Twitter cofounder Biz Stone reports that retweeting is going to become a true feature.
Right now, you retweet by copying someone else’s tweet and affixing “RT” and that person’s twittername at the front. Sometime in the next few weeks, tweets will get a Retweet icon you can click which will insert the original tweet (along with a “retweeted by” tag) in your twitterstream, where your Twitter followers will see it even if they don’t follow the person who Tweeted it in the first place.
It sounds simpler and more elegant than the current, made-up-by-users approach. It also sounds like it’ll have some major implications for third-party Twitter clients and services. Twitter says it’ll work on communicating these implications to developers in the coming weeks.
Assuming Twitter pulls it off smoothly, it’ll be nice to see retweeting formalized. I wonder what Twitter’s users will come up with next?