Twitter’s Retweet Feature Now Makes Complete Engineering Sense

I’ve until yesterday despised twitter’s retweet implementation. But then something happened. And that something was – I WAS RETWEETED BY ASHTON KUTCHER! OK. I know I sound like a post-pubescent girl, however, we’ll talk when you GET RETWEETED BY @APLUSK. Anyway, coming back to the topic, once I was RETWEETED BY ASHTON KUTCHER my Mentions tab was filled with traditional retweets of the same tweet. I missed some of the replies my way and that tweet still keeps popping up in my Mentions tab since my twitter handle is technically “mentioned” in the retweet.

Now this made me realize the engineering decisions behind Twitter’s implementation of the retweet feature. According to twitter’s method, in a retweet you cannot add your own smart ass comments and you’re basically re-tweeting the same message, without editing (Evan detailed this on his blog). However in the traditional method where you use a ‘RT’ and sometimes add some text before the twitter handle, so technically the user who you’re retweeting is “mentioned” in the tweet; the problem here is that in case you’re being retweeted a lot, your Mentions tab will be flooded to an extent that you’ll be fed up with it. A problem that I’m sure @ev & @biz have themselves faced. Their tweets being retweeted with their handle being mentioned and as a result having to search through the Mentions tab to see if someone has tried to contact them or reply to a message, not to forget the whole Mentions tab looks irritating in such cases.

While Evan cited the benefit of the new retweet feature as a way to eliminate the noise in your time-line, he did not mention the noise in your Mentions tab since he figured not all of you would relate to this since not all would be RETWEETED BY ASHTON KUTCHER!
I’ve started to appreciate the way the retweet feature has been implemented since it creates an distinction between a mention and a retweet, something you wouldn’t realize till YOU’RE RETWEETED BY ASHTON KUTCHER!

PS: caps are to add humor. @goobimama: don’t get ideas.

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