R.I.P. RT? Twitter toys with killing retweets in favour of 'Shares'

Retweeting is an integral part of the Twitter experience, and the ability to instantly repeat something that another user has said to all of your followers is a feature that tweeters across the globe take advantage of every day. But just days after Twitter announced a range of multimedia-focused changes - including the ability to upload multiple images in a single tweet, and to tag other users in an image - it looks like the company may be toying with further changes, this time related to retweets. 

Before you panic, take a deep breath and be reassured by the news that the ability to retweet doesn't seem to be in any danger of going away. But it looks like Twitter may be considering a name change for this feature, as Engadget reports that a small number of users have been seeing things differently in recent days. Rather than being shown a retweet button in Twitter's iOS and Android apps, some users are instead being given the option to 'share' tweets with their followers. 

For those seeing the change, it appears to be entirely cosmetic - a simple name change, from 'retweeting' to 'sharing', with no real difference in terms of functionality. But even this small change has annoyed many; Eli Langer, social media reporter with CNBC, collected a selection of tweets from some of those users whose RT buttons have been replaced by 'Share', and the tone of their feedback is fairly negative. 

Twitter's experimentation may be aimed at making its user experience more easy to understand for newer and less tech-savvy users. The jargon - retweets, mentions, hashtags etc - of Twitter are an integral part of the whole experience, but for some, it can all sound a bit too technical and intimidating.

Removing these kinds of barriers for potential users is an important step for Twitter as it seeks to grow its user numbers further. But Twitter also runs the risk of angering its existing user base if it dares to change things too much for those who already enjoy its services. 

For now, there are no indications that Twitter plans to implement this change on a wider basis. Given the way that many of its users have responded so far, that's perhaps for the best. 

Source: Engadget

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