When New Twitter came to town in September 2010, many people lamented the fact that Twitter changed the way you retweet. The default on Twitter.com for the past five months has been a static retweet, basically “forwarding” a tweet to your followers rather than enabling you to add to it, comment on it or otherwise edit it. However, if you are HootSuite, a third-party Twitter dashboard, we’ve got a one-click way to bring back the old retweets and give you control of the text of the tweet.
As it stands, retweeting is a pretty static exercise. You see a tweet that you like, click the “retweet” button on Twitter.com or an app/dashboard, and that tweet will appear in your timeline. Users who follow you will see the tweet and the username of the author, along with your name beside it indicating that you were the retweeter.
However, a lot of people are dissatisfied with this new method of retweeting. They pine for the old days before the New Twitter, where you could edit a retweet and add your own commentary. Well, it’s quite possible to relive this more dynamic retweeting experience through HootSuite, a popular Twitter dashboard. We’ll be looking at how to change how you retweet in HootSuite today, but we’ll also discuss the other popular Twitter dashboards TweetDeck and Seesmic in upcoming tutorial posts.
First, you’ve got to set up your HootSuite profile and log in. If you’re unsure of how to do this, we’ve got a guide to using HootSuite that covers the basics.
Then, navigate to the mascot owl in the top left-hand corner of the screen, to the left of the “Compose message” field. Click him, and you’ll see a dropdown list of options. Navigate to “Settings” and then “Preferences”.
Upon clicking “Preferences”, you’ll be taken to the “General” tab of the settings menu. From there, you simply need to un-check the first box labeled “Use Twitter Web retweets”.
And voila! You have just enabled old-school retweets in HootSuite. Now, whenever you want to retweet someone, the message will appear in your “Compose message” window preceded by “RT @username”. Then, it’s up to you to leave it as-is, or add your own thoughts before you send it off to your followers.