The ability to retweet on Twitter was already available and has been mostly of use to those in business situations who could take advantage of their followers retweeting their promotions. This has been drastically changed with the retweet feature now being in a simple to use button under any of your feeds tweets.
You may ask yourself why you would bother retweeting more often just because of a button, and you are right to do so. After all you are just making the ones you follow more exposed to the tweeters who follow you. However this works both ways.
Your tweets can also be retweeted by your followers. The new feature doesn’t just place a simple RT in front of the retweeted tweet on your profile. By being retweeted your profile picture and username appears next to your own tweet, on someone else’s page!
For example today I retweeted @johncmayer and his photo and link appeared on my profile. For him this means that now all of my followers (who otherwise may not have seen his tweet) have been exposed to his content and may choose to follow him and/or retweet it again creating a ripple effect and sending his message to an entirely new audience.
By being promoted by other twitter users one could potentially gain thousands of new followers. Which we all know translates to twinfluence. For social users who hover around 100-200 followers this provides an avenue for increased twitter success. It should be noted however that without interesting tweets you are unlikely to be retweeted in this new fashion so although the features are useful, tweet-quality is still king in what determines your networking success.
The new feature also gives even more power to those with staggering amounts of followers already. For example @aplusk who is almost at 4 million followers could choose to retweet a message and give that person’s content access to the gargantuan amount of followers he has. For tweeters who promote their own blog or product this could be the best free advertising campaign that they ever get. Even television commercials won’t receive upwards of 3.5 million views in a matter of seconds.
The sidebar on twitter now includes a section appropriately titled ‘retweets’. Within this selection there are 3 mini-sections. The 1st of which is ‘Retweets by others’ which shows what the people you follow have been retweeting. This again will give added exposure to those lucky enough to be retweeted by someone like @biz. The 2nd section is ‘Retweets by you’ which is as simple as it sounds; it lists all the tweets that you have retweeted and gives you the option to untweet those messages.
The 3rd and most important section for you is the ‘Your tweets retweeted’ section. This section allows you to follow which of your tweets have been retweeted and by whom. This allows you to track your tweets and observe the spread of your content and username which is ultimately the thing that will make this feature useful to you.
All of these sections also show who else has retweeted what you have. For them it means they are being exposed to others who have similar interests and for you it means that you are also being exposed to others with similar interests, others who could potentially become your newest followers.
As you can see the retweet feature will change how we network and how we make connections with others on twitter. The button doesn’t guarantee twitter success but it does make it easier for those with interesting things to say.