updated 07:05 pm EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
Test turns original tweet into a Twitter card, gives users more room for context
A new Twitter feature was spotted in the wild today, featuring a new way for users to retweet. Building upon the need for more information and the lack of space when quoting, Twitter is looking to utilize Twitter Cards to give users more room to comment compared to quoting. By changing the feature, Twitter could grant a more effective way to communicate when retweeting.
When looking to share a tweet from someone on their own timeline, Twitter users retweet the 140-character message with a simple button press. Currently, Twitter offers the option to post the tweet as it was originally, or quote the tweet to give the user a way to add their thoughts on it.
The problem with the current quotation method is that it doesn't generally allow the space for much added context from the user. A quoted tweet and comment still needs to fit into the confines of Twitter's 140-character limit. Consequently, mostly users simply parrot a retweet without any additional comment.
Kurt Wagner of Mashable first spotted the change in the retweet system in a retweet from Twitter's Carolyn Penner. The new "retweet with comment" option looks to replace the "quotation" method. The difference is that it turns the retweet into a Twitter Card, giving users the full 140 characters of space to add their view on why it is important. The card drops below the user's tweet, allowing for the original tweet to be separated from commentary.
Not all Twitter participants are able to use the "retweet with comment" feature yet. Twitter generally rolls these test features out to small sample groups before making a decision to implement them. For the moment, the feature only appears to be in testing in the official Twitter app.
As part of Twitter's constant tweaking of the platform, the company has rolled a number of changes out to test before pushing them live. Recently, Twitter released a new web layout, and the ability to mute people in their timeline. Both of these features were offered as limited tests before the social media company activated them available to all users.