Tweetmeme Hands the Retweet Button to Twitter

It's been a little over a year since a company called Tweetmeme decided to mash-up the idea of social news with Twitter, resulting in a one-stop clearinghouse for retweets and obviously generating a new traffic stream for content providers. That concept received Twitter's official blessing Thursday as the social networking site took over the retweet button concept from the site.

The button now counts some 750 million impressions per day. Here at Technologizer, we added the button early this year, and its been interesting to watch which of our posts get picked up in the social web. It's not surprising that Twitter would want to bring what has become a successful concept in-house.

The button works the same way the old Tweetmeme one did: the only change really is a slight design shift and color scheme change. However the retweet function adds some additional functionality which could help content owners promote their own Twitter accounts.

After retweeting, a list of suggested accounts to follow will display, which can be populated by the site itself. For example, ours might include Harry's, Jared's, David's, and my Twitter accounts (why don't you follow us now? /plug). That is certainly an advantage for those who decide to use it.

Twitter has already lined up several major online content producers to use the new button, including CNN, Huffington Post, USA Today, and even YouTube. Tweetmeme CEO Nick Halstead said in a blog post that his company was committed to helping Twitter through the transition.

"This will manifest itself in the launch of a number of new products and the first of these is being unveiled today," he said, referring to its new EDataSift offering. That functionality includes APIs that would allow developers to build "streams of data" from the millions of tweets in the Twitter database.

It certainly seems that Tweetmeme as company will begin to shift from a service provider to a developer, now free of what certainly took their engineers a lot of time to maintain. It's going to be interesting to see what they come up with.

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