Twitter is overhauling its “Quote Tweet” button, and in doing so could change the way we use the social network.
Instead of just wrapping the original tweet in quotes, as the Quote Tweet button used to do, Twitter’s iOS app now embeds a link to the original tweet. This leaves room for up to 116 characters of additional comments from the person making the quotation, The Next Web reports.
Users can already embed a tweet this way by manually pasting in the link, but this was a cumbersome process that users tended to avoid. Likewise, the Quote Tweet button never got much traction, as users often stuck with “manual retweets” (that is, writing their own comments and “RT” before the original tweet) when adding commentary.
It’s likely that both of these practices will fade from use now that Twitter is providing a much simpler alternative. We may also see a dip in “.@” mentions that publicize a response to someone else’s tweet, as the embedded tweet gives readers a more complete view.
Twitter says the new Quote Tweet function is rolling out now for iOS and the web, and will arrive on Android devices soon. You can find it by pressing the Retweet button under any tweet.
Why this matters: While this might seem like a small change, it could have a big impact on the nature of Twitter conversations. By encouraging lengthier interactions around retweets, the result could be chains of commentary that further distance Twitter from its original 140-character limits. In terms of lasting effects on how people use Twitter, put the new Quote Tweet button on par with conversation threads and embedded images.