Twitter Guide – ReTweet to Share Tweets
Twitter is all about sharing information. Twitter’s Retweet (RT) feature enables you to quickly share a message on your timeline that you have liked with your followers who may have either missed out or didn’t receive on their timeline as they are not following the author of the tweet.
Any newsworthy, informative, and interesting tweet may be retweeted by multiple users, and retweeting is one of the fastest way to find and share interesting tweets. When you see a retweet, you also know the user who originally posted it. And if you are not following that user, you may get interested and follow the user. So if your tweets are interesting, and are often retweeted, you may gain more followers.
How to Retweet
Retweeting is very simple. Twitter background is white. Just hover over a tweet that you want to share, the background changes from white to light gray. On the right side of the tweet three icons will appear, favorite this tweet, reply to user, and retweet. Click the retweet link, and confirm!
Retweeted by you information gets appended below the tweet. If it was already retweeted by someone else as well, the information would be Retweeted by you and 1 (or n) other(s). You will also note that the retweet link has changed to retweeted (undo). You can’t retweet a message more than once but if you want you may undo your retweet by clicking undo.
Besides your home timeline and the author’s profile, the retweeted message will appear on your profile as well with the retweet icon before the author’s username. Retweets in your home timeline and your profile are distinguished by the retweet icon next to the author’s picture, and before the author’s name.
If any other visitor to your profile hovers over the author’s username, the author’s profile hovercard would pop up. If that visitor wants he may follow the author using the follow button on the profile hovercard. So the author may gain followers by posting interesting tweets that get retweeted.
What is most important is that the retweeted message will appear on my followers home timeline even if they are NOT FOLLOWING the author. With the result such followers of mine may retweet and/or follow the author. This emphasizes how important to publish interesting content that gets retweeted. You may express your gratitude to those who retweet your messages.
I use my old account (goldenTwineCom) for testing various twitter features before I publish my article so that all facts and figures that I write could be as accurate as possible. It takes me considerable time to write an article even on a simple topic as I would not like to mislead my valued readers.
My old account is my follower but not following the author. I also retweeted from my old account. See the screengrab below, the home timeline of my follower goldenTwineCom, my old account. So retweeting may have a viral effect.
Retweets appear at three places – home timeline, profile, and a special retweets archive.
Twitter collects all public retweets in Retweets archive that can be reached by clicking the Retweets tab on your home sidebar. Here you will see: Retweets By Others (whom you follow), Retweets By You, and most importantly, Your Tweets, Retweeted.
Retweets By Others: Click this tab to read the retweets posted by users you follow. You can see here the popular tweets, and you may share them further with your followers by retweeting.
Retweets By You: Click this tab to read your own retweets. If others have also retweeted, you’ll see their profile icons listed. Twitter shows a maximum of 15 icons.
Your Tweets, Retweeted: Click this tab to find out who retweets your tweets. You may use this for your Follow Friday recommendation as they are doing you a great favour as I have explained above.
Retweets from users who are not following you but following one of your followers will also appear on your home timeline. This is an opportunity to find new friends.
When you see a retweet icon on your timeline, you could easily find out whether the user is following you or not by hovering over the username when the profile hovercard pops up.
See the following screengrab of a retweet that appeared on my timeline:
Retweets in Timelines and Profiles are distinguished by the retweet icon before the author’s username.
The author of this tweet @AnaiaOliveira is not following me. Tweets from this user won’t appear in my home timeline. But I am following @Sangue_Latino who in turn is following her, and has retweeted her tweet. So her retweeted tweet appeared on my home timeline even though I am not following her.
Retweets from a user will appear in my home timeline, even though that user is not following me, if that user is following one of my followers.
Retweets from a user won’t appear in my home timeline, if that user is neither following me, nor any of my followers.
If you find a particular user’s retweets in your home timeline annoying and you don’t want to see them, visit the user’s profile and click the green retweet icon to disable. I don’t want to offend any one, so I have masked the avatar and username in this example.
The green retweet icon will turn gray. If you want to see the user’s retweets again, toggle the gray retweet icon, it will turn green to turn on retweets.
But you can’t disable the retweets feature. You will have to visit each user’s profile to disable retweets from that user.
Advantage of Twitter’s Retweet Feature
Retweets will be archived in your retweeted page.
Retweets of an original message will appear on your home timeline and profile page only once.
You will be able to hide retweets from selected people.
DisadvantageTwitter’s Retweet Feature
You won’t be able to edit a tweet that you want to retweet.
The twitter community had already popularised retweets with a manual retweet or one by a Twitter client much before Twitter added an official retweet feature to its service.
Some users still prefer to manually type in and modify their retweets. You will see an “RT,” which is short for ReTweet, followed by the author’s Username.
Some users argue that if you use retweet link it will not appear on your home timeline.
This is not correct. If you retweet a message which is currently on your home timeline, naturally it won’t appear again. Rather an information Retweeted by you gets appended to the bottom of the message.
But if you retweet a message on your mention page, it will appear on your home timeline besides profile and retweets archive. See below a message about 7 hours old retweeted by me from my mention page appearing on my home timeline:
If you retweet it manually, it will also appear on your mention page. This way your mention count will increase which perhaps helps you in various twitter gradings and rankings. You can not retweet more than once by retweet link. Another advantage of manual retweet in terms of mention count is that when someone retweets you manually, you may retweet that tweet again manually. Each time someone gets truncated from the end, that doesn’t bother you. You only keep increasing your own mention count. The main idea of tweeting is to share with as many people as possible, and not merely increment a counter for some personal gain. Your retweets archive and mention page are private, they are not seen by anyone else.
Manual retweet is treated by twitter as a tweet. RT is not a twitter command. You can not retweet your own message, it can only be deleted. It won’t appear on your retweets archive. Another problem is that you may have to trucate the original message to keep it within 140 characters. See the screengrab above, I had to sacrifice the last user of the original message. I did this manual retweet only for illustration in this article.
Some people who retweet manually do not even give credit to the original author as they don’t prefix RT. See the screengrab below, an ethically wrong manual RT followed by the original tweet.
Some people give credit by a suffix (via @username) as shown below.
But in this case the group mention is not preceded by any word so it becomes a reply to the first user. As a result the tweet appears in the home timeline of only the first user, and not others who are losing out.
I covered this issue extensively, in my article:
Twitter Conversations Made Easy, Twitter guide to thread your conversations manually
Lastly but not the least, if I am not following the user who is manually retweeting, his manual retweet won’t even appear on my home timeline. It will only appear on my private mention page if my username is in the tweet.
So I always prefer to use the retweet link which spreads my message to my followers and saves me time as well. When I receive a user’s manual retweet, I retweet it using retweet link only.
Tweets from those users who have protected account can not be retweeted. But some of them mention me, and I sometime retweet them manually. Manual retweet is time consuming. I am grateful to all those who mention me and retweet my tweets everyday. It is very difficult to retweet each one of them manually.
RT is also a twitter username, her bio on profile is “RT loves her SF-techy-artsy life.” You may follow her on twitter: @RT
I think I have covered all aspects of retweet. I leave it to you whether you should retweet manually or using the retweet feature provided by twitter.
In a separate article I shall discuss some of the best third party applications available for retweeting easily and tracking them in real-time.
If you liked this post why not ReTweet and share it with your followers. Your feedback will help me to carry on with this Made Easy Series. Do post your comments before you leave.
I am embedding a video about retweet from Twitter Help Center (uploaded on YouTube).
Twitter’s Retweet (RT) feature enables you to quickly share and discover Tweets. Peter Finalyson, who leads a non-profit that uses Twitter, is featured in this video. He explains why retweeting is exciting for him and what happens when you post a retweet.
For more information about Retweets, read the help article
What Is Retweet? (RT)
Twitter Made Easy Series
Twitter Conversations Made Easy
Twitter guide to thread your conversations manually
Twitter Reply, Mention and DM Made Easy
Twitter guide to reply, mention and DM to use them right