Twitter for Android, iOS apes Facebook in showing number of retweets in feed

Twitter is prepping a revision to its Android and iOS app, with the updated version showing the number of tweets and favorites in the main feed.

twitter for android feeds Mark Hachman

This version of Twitter for Android highlights the number of tweets and retweets in the main feed. (Click to enlarge.)

Normally, if you use the Twitter app, you have to click into each tweet to see how popular it is, based on the number of retweets and favorites received. But with the version that was pushed to my phone on Tuesday night, you can instantly see how popular a tweet is, right from the main feed.

What Twitter is doing is similar to the way Facebook shows how many “likes” a post from say, George Takei, receives, when it shows up in your News Feed. It’s an easy way to show off what your friends are talking about.

After I noticed (and tweeted) about the new changes last night, they were gone by Wednesday morning. However, Twitter confirmed the changes in a tweet.

I’m of two minds about the tweak Twitter pushed to me. On one hand, knowing the number of tweets tells me that a particular point or article is making waves, and I should pay attention. On the other hand, there’s often some joy in “discovering” a tweet from someone obscure I follow, and pushing that thought out to the broader world. I sometimes felt like I should ignore some of the more popular tweets, given that my followers would probably have seen it anyway.

There’s no guarantee this feature will ever fully see the light of day. But it’s a feature that has already crept into Twitter’s main Web service, where Twitter tells you which friend retweeted the tweet that now appears in your timeline. Competing Twitter clients and services like Hootsuite also already reveal how many retweets a particular tweet has received. 

What do you think of the new feature? Let us know in the comments.

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