Twitter just officially launched its “retweet with comment” feature, which it began testing last summer.
“Retweet with comment” allows users to embed a tweet in their own tweets, which lets them get around Twitter’s 140-character limit when they write their own commentary. The feature is now available on Twitter’s site and iPhone app and will be available on its Android app soon.
Twitter previously let users embed quoted tweets by cutting-and-pasting its URL, but “retweet and comment” lets you do that by just pressing a button. The feature’s arrival has been heralded with much (somewhat ironic) rejoicing by Twitter users. Unfortunately, you can’t embed the full retweet and comment, as I just found out to my disconcertment while preparing this post (click on the embedded tweets to see how they look in the wild).
As my colleague Sarah Perez pointed out last year, however, the feature serves a serious purpose. For one thing, it allows people to share and comment on tweets without having to shorten the original tweet, which means that its context and meaning is preserved.
Forcing users to truncate their rambling thoughts into pithy soundbites was one of Twitter’s original charms, but as the platform matures, many influential users have been devising ways of getting around the character limit so they can use Twitter as their main public communication platform instead of, say, a blog. Hence the rise of “tweetstorms,” which were initially derided by many long-time Twitter users, but show no signs of abating.
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