Twitter Begins Its Retweet, Stymies Spammers on Trends

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-06 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Twitter Nov. 5 began the slow rollout of its retweet button, which blasts out tweets users are fond of to their followers in one fell swoop. This is a sensible alternative to making Twitterers copy, paste and tweet links they love, and add the names of the tweet authors with an RT (retweet) tag. Twitter also said it is experimentally tweaking its trending topics to help users find more relevant tweets. The idea is to thwart spammers, which are rampant on Twitter, littering the trends with porn-baiting tweets and other garbage.

Twitter Nov. 5 began the slow rollout of its retweet button and said it is going tighten up its trend technology, the latter a move to stymie spammers.

The retweet button does what many Twitter users have already seen from other services such as TweetMeme: It blasts out tweets users are fond of to their followers in one fell swoop. This is a sensible alternative to making Twitterers copy, paste and tweet links they love, and add the names of the tweet authors with an RT (retweet) tag.

Twitter has triggered retweet for a very small percentage of accounts to see how it works in the wild. See what this feature looks like on Mashable here. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote:

"We hope interesting, newsworthy, or even just plain funny information will spread quickly through the network making its way efficiently to the people who want or need to know. The plan is to see how it goes first with this small release. If it needs more work, then we'll know right away. If things look good, we'll proceed with releasing the feature in stages, eventually arriving at 100 percent."

Twitter raised the curtain on retweet back in August, providing this diagram and noting that users who find users' constant retweeting overwhelming can turn off those users' retweets.

Twitter also said it is experimentally tweaking its trending topics to help users find more relevant tweets.

The idea is to thwart spammers, which are rampant on Twitter, from littering the trends with porn-baiting tweets and other garbage. Twitter spokesperson Jenna Dawn wrote in this thinly veiled jab at spammers:

"As Twitter grows and the number of tweets each day continues to astound us, we've noticed an increasing amount of clutter in the public timeline, especially with trending topics. Trends began as a useful way to find out what's going on but has grown less interesting due to the noisiness of the conversation."

So, what is Twitter doing? We'll be hard-pressed to tell, but the company said it will "show higher quality results for trend queries by returning tweets that are more useful." Dawn said any improvement won't be very noticeable at first.

Last week, Twitter brought us Lists, which has proven supremely popular. Twitter continues to impress by enriching its platform.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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