Retweeting has become one of the cultural conventions of the Twitter experience. It's yet another example of Twitter's users discovering innovative ways to use the service. We dig it. So soon it's going to become a natively supported feature on twitter.com. It's looking like we're only weeks away from being ready to launch it on our end. We wanted to show the community of platform developers the API we've cooked up for retweeting so those who want to support it in their applications would have enough time to have it ready by launch day. We were planning on exposing a way for developers to create a retweet, recognize retweets in your timeline and display them distinctively amongst other tweets. We've also got APIs for several retweet timelines: retweets you've created, retweets the users you're following have created, and your tweets that have been retweeted by others.
- Creating Retweets The API documentation for creating retweets can be found here: http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-REST-API-Method%3A-statuses-retweet Reminder: Making requests to /statuses/retweet won't work yet as the feature has not launched. - Consuming Retweets in the Timeline 1) Retweets in the new home timeline We don't want to break existing apps that don't add retweeting support or create a confusing experience for that app's users. So the /statuses/friends_timeline API resource will remain unchanged--i.e. retweets will *not* appear in it. For those who *do* want to support retweets, we are adding a new (more aptly named) /statuses/home_timeline resource. This *will* include retweets. The /statuses/friends_timeline API resource will continue to be supported in version 1 of the API. In version 2 it will go away and be fully replaced by /statuses/home_timeline. The API documentation for the home timeline, which includes retweets, can be found here: http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-REST-API-Method%3A-statuses-home_timeline Take a look at the example payload in the documentation. The original tweet that was retweeted Thanks appears in the timeline. Notice the embedded "retweet_details" element. It contains the user who created the retweet as well as the date and time the retweet occurred. 2) Retweeted by me timeline http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-REST-API-Method%3A-statuses-retweeted_by_me 3) Retweeted to me timeline http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-REST-API-Method%3A-statuses-retweeted_to_me 4) My tweets, retweeted http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-REST-API-Method%3A-statuses-retweets_of_me Reminder: Making requests to any of these timelines won't work yet as the feature has not launched. UI considerations: ------------------ Here are some early draft design mockups of how retweets might appear on the Twitter website (don't be surprised if it doesn't look exactly like this). They are presented just as an example of how retweets can be differentiated visually. http://s.twimg.com/retweet-dev-mocks-7-aug-09.png Things to note: 1) It was important for us that retweets are easily differentiated visually from regular tweets. If someone you follow retweets a tweet, the original tweet will appear in your timeline whether you follow the author of the original tweet or not, just as it currently does when users use the "RT" convention. Seeing a tweet in your timeline from someone you don't follow without being told it was shared from someone you *do* follow could be confusing. So we're encouraging developers to be mindful of this confusion and make retweets stand out visually from regular tweets. 2) The retweeted tweet shows the username of the first of your followers to retweet it. If other's subsequently retweet the same tweet, the retweet should only appear once in a user's timeline That's it for now. We'll be sending out more updates as we get closer to launching. -- Marcel Molina Twitter Platform Team http://twitter.com/noradio