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Company sets out to own the "retweet" button across the blogosphere
Besides Twitter serving as a destination for obsessive people to follow celebrities and find out what drink they are ordering from Starbucks, it also serves as a place for the spreading and sharing of news. The micro-blogging platform can used be as a way to share links by making use of "retweets." For example, you find a Tweet about something you may find interesting, then you "retweet" it to your followers, and those followers continue to "retweet" the post, which in turn could eventually drive a ton of traffic to that particular article - very similar to how Digg functions, except in Digg, well, you're "digging."
Well the three executive fellows over at Mesiab Labs, shown left, have set out to track and organize all those "retweets" across Twitter with the launch of a new site today, Retweet.com. According to Retweet,
"The word retweet has now become one of the most popular terms online and describes the action of repeating or sharing someones original tweet / story. We now live in a world where for the first time in history real-time news is possible thanks to modern web technologies and crowd sourced content creation, retweet is here to leverage this modern way of announcing and discovering news. We pride ourselves in providing "news for the people, by the people".. meaning we do not decide what news finds it's way to the home page of our site."
So the site is very reminscent of non-Twitter related news sharing sites like Digg or Stumbleupon. When you land on the homepage, you find the latest articles being Retweeted, not quite in 'real-time', but close enough. It would be nice to actually see the Tweet counter updating as people Retweet articles but maybe that will come in the near future.
Besides the main page, Retweet also lets users organize results based on categories. Since I like gaming, let's take a look there. You'll notice Retweet offers different sub-categories for Gaming with a little drop down menu, so if I only want to read articles on Nintendo games, I can do that.
While Retweet is constantly scanning the Twitterverse for new stories and emerging retweeting trends, users can also submit a story via the site itself with the ability to add a description, the post will probably be better categorized that way.
The site seems to still be in its very early stages. Currently, the search toolbar isn't functional and some of the categories are displaying zero results - we'll see what happens in due time.
What's truly interesting here is that Mesiablabs has built something that is in reality, nothing new. Tweetmeme has been out for quite some time now and functions pretty much exactly the same. Both sites, Tweetmeme and Retweet will be offering "Retweet" buttons bloggers and publishers can integrate into their posts. In fact, according to a recent article published by Techcrunch, Tweetmeme is threatening Retweet with a lawsuit for copying the idea of a "retweet" button and pretty much copying the design and layout of their site. Right now, I think the main thing Retweet.com has going for it is that it owns the domain name of that which seems to be becoming another regular word in the Twitterverse, "retweet."
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