Lately the Twitter world has been buzzing over the art of ReTweets. Let’s quickly look at the facts on a ReTweet or RT.
- A ReTweet is based upon the word Tweet. Tweet is slang used in Twitter that means whatever message you post up on Twitter is considered a Tweet. Hence a ReTweet is a Tweet that is re-copied that begins with either a RT or ReTweet. Dan Zarella researched that “RT” is used 4 more times than “Retweet” in his article “Whats in a Retweet?”
- Techchrunch wrote a post on how ReTweets are viewed as a proxy for Authority in the Twitter world. This means that the more Retweets you gain from other Twitter users based on the article you have written or have found and submitted to the Twitter world, will prove that you are an Authoritative expert in Twitter. This can be viewed as a very helpful contributor in Twitter, A guru/enthusiast/expert in that field that consistently Tweets & Retweets about the same subject i.e Social Media.
- Viral communication. Retweeting is the spread of communication quick, for example when the Twitter phishing scam first appeared, Retweets helped spread awareness across the Twitter community to effectively nip this sucker in the butt before it got too ugly.
Are you a Retweet thief?
Before explaining what a Retweet thief is, I want to point out that a Retweet thief is not a user who legitimately found the article outside of Twitter and on their own. This can be very hard to determine and should be based on the Twitter etiquette or respect, should you follow the code or not is up to you.
The best way to explain why a Retweet thief maybe frowned upon is comparing it to Digg.com. When a user submits an article to Digg they have 1st authority and users on Digg constantly submit new articles to be viewed as the authority figure or respected within the community.
In essence in the Twitter world, when a user submits a Tweet with a shrink url (bit.ly, is.gd, Tinyurl etc) that user got 1st dibbs in becoming an authoritative figure. Regardless of if the article is yours or not, you still in essence was the original Tweet which can actually be tracked with the Twitter Search feature and URL shrink stats (bit.ly has a great Retweet tracker).
Now people may say that it shouldn’t matter if you steal credit for the Tweet aslong as the article gets exposure. This is very true, the article deserves the viral exposure and is the main forefront in ReTweeting but keep in mind there is a 2nd reason in Retweeting.
The 2nd reason in a Retweet is the Social Aspect. The original user who submitted the article should also deserve the credit for putting it out in the Twitter community. This will allow the contributor to gain more of a solid reputation and more people can find to connect with you, which in essence is what Social Media is all about right?
So to give credit or not to give credit….that is the Retweet Thief’s agenda.
Below are examples of Twitter Retweet Examples based upon an article that I was first to submit about the 18yr old Twitter hacker who got caught.
*Now keep in mind I am not pissed if you ReTweeted and didn’t give me credit because you could of legitimately found the article without seeing it on Twitter first, but do keep in mind karma is a b*tch!*
The Original Post – 1st posted the breaking news story of the Twitter Hacker getting caught
The ReTweets soon follow - This was breaking news. Wired actually got the Twitter hacker to explain in detail how he accomplished the hack.
The combination Retweet - This retweet copies their friends name but still gives the original poster credit.
The shorten URL switch - This retweet changes the shorten URL link with a better preference of the Twitter user but still keeps the original credit to the contributor. I respect this retweet to still keep the credit even with a new URL.
The ReTweet Thieves – Now here is the shorten URL I have used for my original tweet. Due keep in mind if the user used the same url shorten service then it will populate with the same url. Below is just an example that could very well be innocent and decided to submit the same article using the same url shorten service. There has been plenty of times where I have seen though a Tweet gets hijacked because the person would expose themselves because they are stealing the tweet from a friend or a high profile celebrity that you know he would of seen.
(*Educational purposes only examples and I am not calling out anybody, all examples can be perfectly legit)
Again this is just a learning purpose example and not really to place blame. Below is an example of a combination where Beverly stole the “shorten url switch” guy (scroll up) but also didn’t give no credit to anybody.
Zaibatus credits himself even though I highly doubt he was not aware of all the Twitter alerts going off in the Twittersphere. All the social media rockstars have already Tweeted about this and its highly unlikely he has not seen 1 single tweet about it.
(*Again, these are just examples and I am not placing blame to certain individuals used in the examples)
Conclusion - The art of ReTweeting to build relationships and promotes social media while giving the original submitter credit. If you do ReTweet hijack, please be mindful in giving credit to the original submitter.
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