Retweet with Comment

Twitter’s new Retweet with Comment feature allows you to add a caption to your retweets – up to 116 characters, displayed above the original tweet. Some of the visual impact of photos or links in the original tweet is lost but these can be re-added in your comment and this is a small price to pay for proper attribution and respect of content ownership and privacy settings, in addition to increased visibility and engagement opportunities for your own account.

Retweet shown side by side with Retweet with Comment

Above: Retweet (left) shown side by side with Retweet with Comment (right)

Retweet shown side by side with Retweet with Comment

Above: Retweet (left) shown side by side with Retweet with Comment (right)

Retweeting with Comment puts your Twitter account front & centre in the newsfeed (rather than the original author’s account) and attributes favourites and retweets to you (rather than the original author’s account). It also allows you to put the original tweet into a meaningful context for your followers – whether it’s to explain why you’re retweeting a post, or to add a little detail that will speak more effectively to your audience than the original tweet.

For example, @WesternU retweeted @Business and added a comment to mention how @IveyBusiness was related to the story:

Retweet with Comment by Western University

 

Above: Screenshot showing Retweet with Comment

Above: Interactive, embedded tweet (not yet supporting Retweet with Comment, as of April 29 2015)

How?

Retweet with Comment is available on Twitter.com, official Twitter mobile applications and in Sprout Social. Just click your normal Retweet button and look for the Retweet with Comment or Quote Tweet option to pop up.

If you use a tool that doesn’t yet support Retweet with Comment, you can “make your own” & get identical results with these easy steps:

  • Find the original tweet on Twitter.com
  • Click on the time stamp to make sure you are on the page for that specific tweet
  • Make sure that you are on a page that includes /status/ in the URL
  • Copy the full URL onto your clipboard
  • Create a new tweet with your comment, and paste the copied URL at the very end

Here’s a Retweet with Comment that I posted using the steps above:

Example of DIY Retweet with Comment

Above: Screenshot showing Retweet with Comment

Above: Interactive, embedded tweet (not yet supporting Retweet with Comment, as of April 29 2015)

Retweets – now with Scheduling!

If there are so many things that you’d like to retweet but you’re holding yourself back to avoid spamming your followers, you can a now schedule your retweets out over time. Using Sprout Social, or the “do it yourself” steps above, you can now feed your Retweets (with Comment) into scheduling tools.

Goodbye RT & MT

Today, Twitter offers the Retweet (and Retweet with Comment) button and Facebook offers a Share link – each allowing us to take content from someone else’s account and share it to our own audiences with proper content attribution and privacy settings.

For example, if I share my brother’s Facebook Photo of the two of us – it follows the privacy rules that he set up when he uploaded the photo onto Facebook. If he set the upload to be private only to his Facebook Friends, even if I share it – it can only be seen by his Facebook Friends. Along the same lines, Twitter won’t let me retweet content that has been posted on a private Twitter account – protecting the content owner’s privacy preferences & content ownership again.

The practice of copy & pasting someone’s tweet into a tweet of your own, and adding “RT @username:” at the start to give them credit has been around longer than Twitter’s official retweet function. At first, we did this because we didn’t have an official retweet function from Twitter and then it became a solution when we wanted to share a tweet but with just a little change – maybe to add your own thoughts, to make a spelling correction or to add a few great hashtags. This is why many still use copy & paste the tweets of others – adding “RT @username” (or “MT @username” – which indicates the tweet has been modified from the original).

Instead, when you see something that you’d like to share you can now add your own voice with the Retweet with Comment function – or you can write a brand new tweet and acknowledge the original account by adding any of the following at the end of the tweet:

  • “via @username”
  • “hat tip to @username”
  • “thanks to @username”
  • “cc @username”

RT & MT tweets bypass the privacy settings of the content owner. It also takes content control away from the owner – even if they delete their tweet, your copy & pasted version will live on without their permission or consent. None of this is OK. As people and professionals, we need to stop.

With the introduction of Retweet with Comment, there is no excuse for the the RT or MT methods of sharing tweets to continue.

Further Reading

For more detailed reading about Retweet with Comment:

Above: April 6, 2015 tweet with sample original retweets & retweets with comment attached

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