Twitter is different from every other social network because it lets people tweet within 140-characters and not more than that. This brevity is undoubtedly a salient feature of Twitter. But lately it’s been reported that Twitter is experimenting with a new way to retweet.
As of now, users options for responding to another tweet are to reply, leaving out any reference to the original tweet, or quote the tweet. A Twitter retweet allows a user to re-post another’s tweet to their own personal timeline. The “quote tweet” feature, meanwhile, grabs the other person’s tweet, places it in quotation marks, then allows the person re-posting it to insert their own comment in front of or after the quoted snippet. But unfortunately, neither of these methods really allow for the sharing of a longer thought of your own because of Twitter’s hard-coded, 140-character limit in the case of quoted tweets – and because retweets don’t allow you to insert your own text.
But now Twitter is reportedly experimenting with a new feature called “Retweet with comment.” The “Retweet with comment” feature lets users showcase the original tweet in a Twitter Card, leaving them with a full 140 characters to respond. Most importantly, it is being assumed that the “Retweet with comment” would probably replace the “Quote the tweet” option.
It is anticipated that “Retweet with comment” feature would foster more conversations on Twitter, allowing for context while not detracting from the length allotted for a response, which users currently experience with the “Quote the tweet” option. So in this way, tweeters can have more space to voice their opinion while still linking to the original tweet.
Note that Twitter is ‘constantly’ experimenting with new features and updates, so “Retweet with comment” may not actually become a permanent reality. But the idea of trying to foster more two-way conversations is really admirable.
However, there is no time-table for when these new features might be offered to all users, and it’s possible that they’ll never be made widely available. On the other side, when Twitter was asked to say something about the new “Retweet with comment” feature, it clearly declined to comment.