The story already broke a number of hours ago, but still for anyone who does Twitter dev, this is pretty big news. Basically, anyone who builds a twitter client has retweet as a feature. Basically all we do populate the send field with the selected message prepend with a “RT”. Now (not all) clients use ‘RT’ for retweets, so having an official standard will be great when doing searches and clusters of various RTs. Although the API is not fully out yet, I can see much richer calls available that will allow Twitter Devs to create betting tracking, nesting and general stats and information gathering from twitter directly instead of the round about way we do it now using various tricks with search and storing things in databases. And I for one, welcome our new overlords.
It’s Not Ready Just Yet
Phase one of project retweet is to show the developer community how it will work from an API perspective as well as a user perspective. We’re still working out the final details, but this sketch gives you the basic idea. Let’s say you follow @jessverr, @biz (that’s me), and @gregpass but you don’t follow @ev. However, I do follow @ev and the birth of his baby boy was so momentous that I retweeted it to all my followers.
Imagine that my simple sketch is your Twitter timeline. You’d see @ev‘s tweet even though you don’t follow him because you follow me and I really wanted you to have the information that I have. (The star, reply, and retweet options only show up when you hover over a row on Twitter.com which is why you don’t see them all the time.) Also, if you find my retweets annoying, then you’ll be able to turn them off.