Is the new retweet the end of angry Twitter mobs?
I've really begun to loathe Twitter's new retweet function. The main reason is that there might be 00s of people you follow retweeting something furiously - and you'd have no idea ...
Retweets go invisible
Look at the screenshot. At the time I was looking at Twitter, two people have retweeted saltyshutter's tweet.
You won't see it again
Now imagine that, in half an hour, somebody else retweets it.
To avoid retweet overload, Twitter won't show me that retweet again. It assumes that I've taken in the original retweet (I might have seen it and not taken it in, but that's my tough luck). If I went back through the timeline and found the retweet from half an hour ago, it would have updated to show that another person had retweeted it. But who is going to do that?
Now, imagine that some sort of massive Twitter row kicks off. Maybe 100 people you follow retweet something. You don't see any of these retweets. That's right - because you saw the initial retweet early on, Twitter assumes you're not interested.
You could go back and look at the original retweet, and it would now update to show that 100 people have retweeted it. But in practice, you won't. What's more, the chances of 100 people retweeting something are diminished - because they, in turn, won't realise that other people are retweeting.
The end of Twitter campaigns?
What could have blown up into a full-blown Twitter campaign will die a damp-squid-like death as everyone assumes that no one else is interested.
Now, it can be annoying to see the same tweet retweeted by several different people. But not as annoying as discovering that you've missed something interesting because Twitter has decided not to tell you that lots and lots of people you follow are retweeting it ...
The question is, would the Jan Moir backlash have got off the ground if new RT had been around then? If people didn't realise how much everyone else was angry, the whole thing might have died out ...
Some other reasons I don't like the new retweet
Who's this guy?
Who is Saltyshutter, and why's his picture there? Turns out someone I follow has retweeted him. But I'm not following saltyshutter - and I'm getting fed up with seeing strangers' pictures in my list of tweets.
Because I don't recognise them, the pictures jar and so I end up staring at them. Which means I end up paying more attention to the tweets of people I haven't chosen to follow than those I have.
(The flip side of this is that, when I'm retweeted, my avatar ends up in other people's stream of tweets. This does not make up for the issue, however).
Who else retweeted
Why does it say XX and one other person retweeted this. Who are the other people? I want to know, but this is not clickable ...
I want to comment
When I retweet, I like to comment. The new feature doesn't stop me doing that, obviously. But it would have been quite easy to build this ability in. It's annoying they haven't.
What's with the new menu options that make no sense?
Over in the right hand side of the web interface is a bit that says 'Retweets'. When you click it, you see three options. 'Retweets by you' I get - things I have retweeted. 'Your tweets, retweeted' I get - other people who have retweeted me. But what the hell is the first option: 'Retweets by others'? I literally cannot work out what this is for ... It's currently empty which isn't helping ...
This highlights another problem. You used to be able to click your name in the web interface and see any messages to you and any RTs of your tweets in one go. Now you have to go to two separate places to see these things.
To sum up ...
Yes, I know I can still RT the old manual way. But this doesn't stop other people using the new system. And when they do, they take away some of the functionality I want from twitter - like a one-click list of stuff about me, and knowing who is retweeting what.