I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Twitter’s recent changes to how individual Retweets, aka RTs, are retweeted, but there is something interesting here to think about.
Aside from adding lists, the changes to Retweets are the biggest change to happen to Twitter came since they changed how @replies worked earlier this year.
To recap: In the past, if I was following you, I would receive all of your tweets in my Twitter stream, even those that began with an @reply to someone I was NOT following. That’s no longer the case. Now I only see tweets that begin with an @reply if I’m following the person they’re replying to.
When @replies changed, a few other things changed, too. Namely, discovery of new and interesting people to follow. In the past, if I saw an interesting person in my Twitterstream was engaged in conversation with someone I wasn’t following, I might choose to follow them based on our mutual acquaintance.
Now, I know there are plenty of good reasons to be upset with the new changes to Retweets, but one neat thing about this is that it does bring back the possibility of discovering new people.
Since the new ReTweets feature is still in Beta, not everyone has access yet. So, here is a screenshot of my Twitterstream with a dialog box that points out this new means of discovery.
Love the change or hate it, this may not be the organic means of spreading information that grew out of the Twitter community, but discovery is something I’m interested to see making a comeback on Twitter.
What do YOU think?
P.S. Read this post by Dan Zarrella if you’re interested in preserving the way Retweets have always been viewed and posted.