Browse Definitions:

retweet (RT)

Contributor(s): Wendy Schuchart

A retweet (RT) is the repetition of another user’s update, or tweet, on Twitter. Like tweet, the term is used as a verb as well as a noun.

By default, a retweet begins with "RT: @username," followed by the tweet text. Twitter and Twitter management applications, such as Tweetdeck, include buttons or links with each tweet to automate retweeting.

Retweets are most often sent to share a good update with followers and, as such, are usually welcomed by the original sender. However, the retweeter can also add comments before sending, which could be negative or argumentative in nature.

On Twitter itself, you have to copy a tweet into the update field manually to edit it. Twitter management applications usually offer the option of editing a tweet before retweeting.

Although it’s OK to make minor changes (changing “and” to “&,” for example, to save characters), it’s important not to significantly alter the original text. You should also be sure to add punctuation, such as parentheses or slash marks, to distinguish added comments from the original message. Twitter identifies both the original author of the tweet and the user who retweeted it.

As social networking sites and applications become increasingly common for business use, it’s becoming increasingly important that users understand how to interact with them effectively and appropriately.  Many organizations are implementing social media policies to guide employee behavior on Twitter and other social platforms.


See also: social media cheat sheet, Twitter and text abbreviations, social media marketing, social media analytics, social CRM, collaboration platform, unified communications, social graph, Facebook, Google+


Continue reading about retweets:

Can you use Twitter for business successfully? Six mistakes to avoid

Does your executive networking strategy include Twitter?

Got a social media strategy? Five social media tips for the midmarket

Help Center: What is retweet (RT)?

Brush up on your retweet etiquette

Buzzword alert: Retweet

This was last updated in March 2012

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