Twitter developing Retweet API

From the ‘Retweeting is the highest form of Twitter flattery‘ files:

I retweet my fair share of tweets on a regular basis. Usually it’s a simple” [email protected] Something interesting” kind of tweet. But soon, Twitter is going to have new built-in retweeting powers,  thanks to an API that is currently under development.

The basic idea is to provide a more connected and integrated approach for retweeting.

“We are still sketching out exactly how this feature and its API counterpart works,” Twitter’s Biz Stone blogged.”Sharing our thoughts before launching means developers will have the opportunity to prepare their applications. In a few weeks or so we’ll launch the feature on our web site and because app developers had a chance to prepare, it should become available across most of the Twitter ecosystem about the same time. This way, we can all enjoy retweeting – however we choose to access Twitter.”

In his blog post, Stone provides a basic usage scenario for the new retweet capability. The way I understand it is, say you follow me (I’m @TechJournalist) and I retweet something really cool from one of my colleagues at (@internetnews). With the new retweet, you’d see the post from internetnews show up in your timeline – even if you don’t follow internetnews.

This could be confusing in some respects – but it could also be a major new way for people to build followers and to connect people together. 

One measure that I’ve seen PR people use for Twitter effectiveness is how much a post is retweeted. It certainly is also a measure of influence too. If you add in links and track clickthroughs, well no doubt the number of clicks will increase with the number of retweets too.

With an API hook into that type of data and new capabilities, retweeting could truly become the most powerful thing one user can do for another tweet on Twitter.

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