Twitter giveth, and twitter taketh away: the new retweet functionality

This morning, when logging onto Twitter, I was greeted with news about the new Retweet functionality, which not only makes retweeting easier, but changes the way other people’s retweets appear in your timeline. I’d try to explain the new feature, but there’s already a better explanation of it in the Twitter blog post called ‘Project ReTweet – Phase One’. The new feature is a nice way to discover people to follow by seeing photos of them appear in your timeline, I have to admit – a photo always makes a difference.

Anyway, I prefer the web interface for Twitter over a desktop / mobile client (it has a single stream, it’s so simple) and the new functionality kinda messed it all up and made the very simple web interface suddenly seem more crowded. Maybe it’s just the Luddite in me, but it was all too much, so I tweeted the following:

Well, when I next went to Twitter.com to check whats been happening with all mah peeps, all retweets are back to appearing how they looked before the changes (the ReTweet button remained, but I no longer had strangers’ tweets turning up in my timeline). After conducting a quick poll among Twitterers, it turns out it’s just me that has had the new functionality turned off.

So either the good folks at Twitter got mad with me for moaning about the new features and took the new functionality away, or they switched it off  as part of good customer service. Either way, I think this is pretty neat – in the space of less than a few hours, they go live with a new feature, I dislike it and moan about it, and they disable it just for me (and not for anyone else)! That is really cool – well done Twitter. My hat is off to you.

EDIT: 20/11/09 10:48am AEDST – I think Twitter is messing with me 🙂 …. the new functionality is now enabled again.



2 Responses to “Twitter giveth, and twitter taketh away: the new retweet functionality”

  1. November 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I think we could all learn from how Twitter uses Twitter – much more as a ‘listening’ device. Too many marketers use Twitter strictly as a broadcast device (which is good, no doubt) but in the long run the interaction with consumers/followers and the ability to get instant feedback on a product. Combine this with tactics like the google wave ‘invites’ and you mobilize a real-time sales force of your consumers selling your product to their friends – and offering improvements on your product and service for those who can stand a little ‘tough love’.

    Ha – and way to keep Twitter honest – keep up the good work.

  2. November 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    edit: ‘ability to get instant feedback on a product…’ is invaluable/really great/friggin’ special.

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