Twitter.com commands just an estimated 32 per cent of all Twitter activity, which is incredibly low when you think about. Imagine if Facebook boasted that kind of share for their 200-million strong audience; people would be talking. And with complete justification.
(This low number also, incidentally, explains in part the recent hype – and reaction – to Twitter’s 60% drop-off rate amongst new users, as Nielsen, who took the measurements, only accounted for Twitter.com, and not all the external clients, which make up the bulk of all interactions with the service, certainly from seasoned members.)
There’s a good reason why – Twitter.com is an entirely limiting way to interact with the Twitter stream. That statement, true as it is, is pretty insane for any website, let alone a social media platform. Somehow, Twitter gets away with it; at least, for now.
Even the most basic functionality from the site is missing. I’ve discussed recently on this blog the importance of the re-tweet, an event that takes place millions of times a day within the Twitter stream. So frequently, in fact, that’s it’s an accepted part of the experience, but Twitter.com, despite many upgrades, hasn’t considered it significant enough to provide us with a re-tweet button. Has the world gone mad?
Perhaps, but there is a solution. In fact, there are three.
Why Do We Need A Re-Tweet Button?
If you’re unsure of the significant of the re-tweet, please read my article, “In Defense Of The Re-Tweet.“
Okay, like me, you might predominately use TweetDeck or a different Twitter client for all your networking. That’s great, even admirable. But think of everybody else. Lots of folk have to use Twitter.com – maybe they’re restricted at work, or their computer isn’t powerful enough to run an external client.
You may not ever use Twitter.com, and therefore have no need for a re-tweet button on the home page – if this is the case, you can still play your part in making it a reality for everybody else. Please scroll down to the third part of this tutorial, and add your signature to the online petition.
Before We Begin
It is important to note that the first two configurations in this tutorial will only work on the Firefox browser. If you don’t use Firefox, it’s a very worthwhile download. This is certainly true if you are using Internet Explorer; less so if you’re a fan of Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari, where the benefits are less considerable.
The Firefox community provide a wealth of add-ons and tweaks for the software that provide the user with enormous functionality. One of the most popular plugins is Greasemonkey, a software tweak that allows users to install scripts that make immediate changes to most web pages. To use the first two scripts on this page, you will need to be running Firefox and have installed the Greasemonkey plugin. Without both of these things, the changes recommended here will not work – not on Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera or anything else. Firefox and Greasemoney are a prerequisite to installation.
Fear not; if Firefox is not for you, or this all seems a bit too much like witchcraft, roll down to section three of this tutorial, where your insistence on an official re-tweet button on Twitter.com can be registered by the medium of vote.
1. So You Want A Re-Tweet Button… And Everything Else?
Described as ‘crazy awesome’ by the good folks at RWW, Troy’s script does, indeed, do pretty much everything you could ever want. And more. You get your re-tweet button, but you also get name and URL expansion, a search box, media previews, autocomplete, embedded video, friend icons, groups, maps, timezones, and more. Rumour has it the next version will even make great fries.