Tweet, Tweet, Retweet: Conversational Aspects of Retweeting on Twitter is a paper by danah boyd, Scott Golder, and Gilad Lotan. This paper examines retweeting on Twitter. Retweeting doesn’t really seem as popular has using hashtags or @user in your tweets. Since Twitter only allows 140 characters for a tweet, it’s sometimes hard to retweet someone. This paper was published in 2010, so the codes for retweeting have changed. This paper mentions that a retweet looks like this: “RT @user: message.” This raises the problem of possibly having to shorten or delete words when you retweet someone. There’s a term called “disemvoweling,” which means that you can delete some of the vowels in the tweet to shorten it but you are still able to have the same message or idea that the original user tweeted. On danah boyd’s Twitter she asked her followers what some rules of the rules are for retweeting. One user said, “Tweets of 130+ characters are too long to be retweeted.” Another user said, “You can change whatever seems to not alter the original content.” And finally, some other users agreed that you can delete words that are unnecessary or too wordy or you can shorten words as long as they are “text message style.” On danah’s Twitter, she also asked her followers why and what they retweet. She found that people retweet to gain followers, to promote a cause, to entertain a specific audience, or to start a conversation. They’re retweeting things like time-sensitive material, breaking news, or anything that is fun and entertaining.
I haven’t been using Twitter for very long but I can tell you that things have probably changed over the past two years. Whenever I see one of my followers retweet someone it shows up on my feed like everyone else’s tweets do except at the bottom in small font it says “retweeted by @user.” This is nice because you no longer have to worry about going over that 140 character limit when you retweet someone.