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Twitter launches 'retweet with comment', lets users quote tweets without wasting characters

Feature has been gradually rolled out to some users, but was officially unveiled in a tweet this morning

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 07 April 2015 16:10 BST
The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013.
The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Twitter has officially launched its “retweet with comment” feature, allowing users to feature other tweets in their own posts without using up any of their 140 characters.

It is used by clicking on the retweet button, and choosing the “quote tweet” option from the pop-up. That will then slide the tweet into the post as a “card”, showing a small version of it in the stream and using up much less of the valuable 140 characters. (Users will have 116 characters left to fill in, since the quoted tweet still takes up some space.)

The same feature will happen if users link to a post within a tweet, with the service swapping out the link and replacing it with a card. That will also notify users that their posts have been linked to — getting rid of an often-used way of subtweeting, or talking about tweets without actually making reference to the person or tweet involved.

But it could also mean that users get more of the credit for their original posts, rather than having tweets taken and “manually retweeted” by users who add information at the beginning of the post. Some expressed hope on Twitter that the new feature will reduce the prevalence of posts that exist mostly to get credit for certain tweets that have been re-shared.

The new feature can be accessed within Twitter’s apps for iPhone and web, and is expected to roll out to other mobile apps soon.

The feature had already rolled out to many users, after Twitter began testing it in summer. But it was officially unveiled by the company this morning, in a tweet.

The feature can only quote one layer of tweets. If someone links to a tweet that itself has a tweet in, users will have to click through to the post to see the original card.

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