Yes, Twitter is in the process of rolling out its new Retweet functionality to a more users, the service confirmed today. Based on the number of tips we’ve received, and the number of TechCrunch staff members who now see the functionality, it would seem that today’s roll-out is pretty large.
So what’s the verdict? Some people love it, some people hate it. It is definitely a significant change to the way people are accustomed to using Twitter, so it will undoubtedly take some time for most users to get used to. Some may call this “Facebook Syndrome” (users always complain when Facebook changes something, even if it’s for the better), I call it “human nature” (people generally dislike change).
If you do happen to have it now, here’s a few interesting notes about the new feature (at least on twitter.com):
- First, there is a new Retweets area in the right side bar. This allows you to see “Retweets by others”, “Retweets by you”, and “Your tweets, retweeted”. While the UI for the main homepage retweets can be a bit confusing at times, this Retweet area is laid out pretty nicely, as it is easy to see who exactly retweeted what.
- Second, as co-founder Evan Williams noted today, there is an easy way to turn off retweets from individual users. Simply click on their profile and make sure the Retweet logo (the circular arrows) below their name is not highlighted green. This means that it’s off and you will not see Retweets from that user in your timeline. That’s great for users who go overboard with the feature and muck up your stream.
- Third, if you do hate the new Retweet way, just don’t use it. Nothing is stopping you from still using the “RT …” syntax. The new Retweets simply give you an easy way to highlight something to your followers with the click of a button.