Twitter to make retweeting easy

LONDON - Having made its homepage more inviting, Twitter has unveiled the next stage in its bid to make tweeting even easier with a plan to standardise how people "retweet" the messages of others.

Twitter plans to open up its retweeting API to third party developers in a bid to standardise the popular Twitter function, where retweets can be tracked or ignored by users.

Still in the planning stages, Twitter is asking developers to simplify the retweeting process, with early plans calling for a retweet link on all messages. Currently users retweet manually, which leads to easy mistakes.

Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder, noted in the company blog that the current process technically works, where users copy and paste the message and manually add the letters "RT" (short for retweet) and the "@" sign, but its "a bit cumbersome and not everyone knows about it".

Stone hinted that "project retweet" will allow users to see messages from people they aren't following, but have been retweeted by their friends, with the ability to turn this function off.

Developers are working on three separate retweet timeline APIs, including retweets you have created, retweets the users you're following have created, and your tweets that have been retweeted by others.

The first launch of the feature is expected in a few weeks, which will be rolled out to a limited subset of people for a testing phase, before standardising the system for the entire Twitter community.

Stone acknowledged that retweeting serves as an example of "Twitter teaching us what it wants to be".

He said: "The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact and the more efficient dissemination of information across the entire Twitter ecosystem is something we very much want to support."

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