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Twitter retweets rolled out to beta tweeters

Twitter has begun rolling out new-look retweets, with a counter, to selected users. Not before time, we say

Twitter has begun rolling out Project Retweet to users.

Like lists, which were rolled out to 25 per cent of users before every user could access them, the new retweet function is available to selected beta users. The new feature shows an icon to indicate retweets, although users who aren't in the beta group will still see the letters RT at the start of retweets. A counter shows which users you follow have retweeted the post, and how many people in total have shared the post with their followers.

About time too, we say. Retweets, while a good idea, had grown out of control. This month's US edition of Wired includes an article in which Twitter top-kicks Evan Williams and Biz Stone discuss how ad hoc user-invented stuff such as @replies and retweets are being built into the service. According to Stone, "We're finally emerging from this firefighting mode."

The result is that Twitter is becoming more versatile, and may even attract more users to Twitter.com itself rather than using third-party apps.

Are you one of the lucky beta tweeters? Will new features such as lists and retweets tempt you back to Twitter.com? Let us know what you think in the comments below.