Integrated retweet on its way to Twitter

Social network says it has a started a limited rollout of its retweet feature. The new button will work much the same way the "reply" option works.

Retweeting has become such an important part of Twitter use that the social network announced on its blog late Thursday that its rollout of integrated retweeting has finally begun.

"We've just activated a feature called retweet on a very small percentage of accounts in order to see how it works in the wild," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote on the blog. "Retweet is a button that makes forwarding a particularly interesting tweet to all your followers very easy. In turn, we hope interesting, newsworthy, or even just plain funny information will spread quickly through the network making its way efficiently to the people who want or need to know."

Right now, Twitter users are forced to manually retweet items they care about by inputting "RT" at the beginning of a message. Some sites use Tweetmeme's Retweet Button to make it a little easier for users to retweet stories they like. Earlier this year, Twitter shared the mechanics behind the new feature with third-party Twitter developers to see how they could integrate it in their own apps. It's about time that it's coming to Twitter.

In essence, the new retweet button will work much in the same way the "reply" option works on the site already. Users will need only to click the retweet button and their status-update box will be populated with the desired tweet. Those who have access to the feature are saying that a new icon is displayed before the message, rather than the typical RT, but since I don't have access to it yet, I can't confirm its existence.

Twitter plans to test the retweet option on a small number of accounts at first. If all goes well, it will "proceed with releasing the feature in stages eventually arriving at 100 percent."

If you have access to the new feature, let us know what you think in the comments below.

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