Twitter Update: New Retweet Button

Retweet with Comment Punches Marketers in the Face

Twitter Update: New Retweet Button

Twitter has updated its Retweet button. Now you can add your own comment to a tweet. 116 characters allowed.

Adding a comment isn’t required though. If you don’t fill in the field “Add a comment,” the button works exactly like it did in the past.

Now let’s see what happens if you retweet and add a comment…

The first impression is that being able to tell your followers the reason why you like the article you retweet is good for the original tweeterer. That’s an advantage indeed.

However, once a tweet is retweeted with comments, you start seeing the disadvantages. First of all, let me reveal the minor one…

1. The Retweets Counter Doesn’t Register RT with Comments

Below you’ll find a tweet that has been retweeted without comments once and with comments twice.

The retweets counter didn’t register the retweets with comments. It shows one retweet instead of three. (Update: Well, now it shows more retweets. In the meantime some friends altered the results of my test, so I had to add this update :))

2. The Images Included in the Tweets Lose Some of Their Power

Now here’s how such a retweet with comment looks like:

Example of retweet with comment on Twitter

The picture isn’t very important anymore. It’s smaller and consequently its text – if any – is barely visible. That’s bad. A good image was a big plus for a tweet.

In addition, the embedded version of a retweet with comment is pretty useless:

3. The Retweet with Comment of a RT with Comment is Useless

Now let’s see what happens if someone joins the “conversation” and retweets with comment a retweet with comment:

Example of retweet of a retweet with comment on Twitter

The followers of the last person who retweeted the original tweet can see the new comment, the previous comment and a link to the original tweet.

No image, no headline, nothing that can really attract engagement. The followers will not even understand what the original tweet is about. This simply sucks.

4. Conclusions – Is this Twitter Update Any Good?

The new Retweet button includes two very different features:

– If you don’t add comments, you’ve got the old Retweet button;

– If you add comments, you don’t actually have a Retweet button anymore. You’ve got a comment-tweet having attached to it the original tweet or a link to it. Not good for spreading the news. You may think that at least it’s good for conversations. Nope! The original account @AdrianJock got notified by Twitter after the first RT from the account @IMTipsNews, but didn’t get any notification regarding the second RT from the account @JokesJournal.

Going viral on Twitter? It’s harder. The first retweet with comment is not a disaster, but the subsequent retweet with comment is. Few chances to get one more retweet.

The previous Retweet button was a bad choice for marketers. The new one is even worse.

How to cope with this Twitter update? Hope that not so many followers add their comments to your tweets. Or hope for a further update… Or even better…

Take action: educate your followers. Share this article right now!

To Your Twitter Success!
Adrian Jock

P.S. Your turn… What do you think of the new “Retweet with Comment”?

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10 thoughts on “Retweet with Comment Punches Marketers in the Face

  1. Hi Adrian,

    after I saw you testing out the new retweet with comment this morning I saw such a post coming. ;)

    I was sure that you won’t like it, as it is even worse than the native retweet button was.

    Already I hardly used the native retweet button and won’t make use of the comment tweet function either.

    I’m sticking with the manual retweets as it gives the most benefits for all of us.

    However, out of curiosity I’m going to check if they integrated this function into Tweetdeck as well.

    Thanks for testing and sharing,

  2. It seems that you know so many things about me and now I’m predictable. That’s not so good… I have to progress faster and faster until you won’t be able to see my next move even if it’s already made :-)

    Thank you for your comment!

  3. Hi Adrian, Sorry, I was one of those that retweeted your first embed and changed the numbers. I did that from my phone on impulse before I started reading. I thought, “Adrian needs better numbers than that for an embed, let me add a fav and retweet”. Then I started reading and, oops. ;)

    I think there’s still hope for most of the bugs you’ve listed. I love the idea we can add comments but it certainly shouldn’t take away from the original post or stats. All of that should be an easy fix for Twitter, I say that with about as much knowledge about programming as I do of neuroscience – none. But, they are Twitter with big resources.

    Truthfully, I bet no one on the Twitter team put everything together as well as you just did. They’re probably still waiting for complaints and bug reports.

    I agree, it is a really big deal. Imagine someone famous retweets something of yours with a comment. Because that person is influential, it gets hundreds of retweets, many with comments. Now you have a tweet going viral that is butt ugly, ineffective, and does’t increase the numbers.

    That’s almost as bad as someone sending you so much traffic your server goes down and everyone lands on nothing. Not quite that bad but it needs to be fixed.

    Now, as tweeters, we have to decide if it’s better to add out two cents or just continue to re-tweet the original way.

    Thanks for putting all of this together for us Adrian. This is the kind of thing where I notice something doesn’t look right but can never put my finger on it.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thank you for your comment. I knew you were one of the guys who retweeted the initial test-tweet. Don’t worry, I didn’t consider the possibility of you having bad intentions, but I had to add that update in order to explain the inconsistency between my text and the figure displayed by Twitter :)

  4. Intriguing. I noticed it on TweetDeck and have to admit it kind of freaks me out. By using it you can’t alter anything in the original message, which is somewhat disturbing because sometimes you just want to eliminate a few things here and there. However, the RT feature isn’t on Tweetcaster, which I use on my smartphone and Nook, so it’s business as usual there.

  5. Hi Adrian Jock,

    It is my first visit to your blog. I enjoyed reading. Oops, I can’t see any update at my website. Don’t know what is wrong with my twitter account and why not any comment option. Can you tell me? Is there any comment option with tweet button?


    1. Hi Jyoti,

      Here’s how to add a comment to a retweet: select the tweet you want to retweet and click the retweet button. A pop-up window will open. There you’ll see the original tweet and above it there’s a field “Add a comment”

  6. Hi Adrian

    This is a very good resource and this new feature is supposed to help make a difference. Thanks for the info. Kudos to you.

  7. Hi Adrian,

    This is the first time I have ever visited your blog but I just want to say I think it’s great! I actually had no idea that Twitter even came out with this update. I guess it’s not too great for marketers but it certainly improves the user experience, which is probably what Twitter was going for.

    I think it also makes sense to have the option to explain why you liked the Tweet. At any rate, I think Twitter is still a very relevant social media platform for marketers, especially with their paid advertising service starting to gain traction.

    Awesome post BTW.

Comments are closed.