In a substantial update to its functionality, Twitter announced Monday that it has revamped its "quote tweet" feature. The new feature essentially embeds a tweet within a tweet instead of quoting text, and it will work like this:
Crafting a tweet with an interesting, potentially complex thought in under 140 characters is at once one of the most difficult and most rewarding aspects of using Twitter. A good tweet is short, sweet and sometimes biting, and the character limit remains one of the network's defining features.
As much as Twitter is used to push out information, the platform is a place for conversation. Sharing others' tweets is a fundamental part of using the service, and retweets are a form of currency. But attempting to shoehorn commentary into a retweet is made difficult by the service's character limit, and text added on to retweets often appears clumsy.
The new "quote tweet" feature changes that, offering users a way to get around the character limit and share their thoughts in a visually appealing way while providing the context of the original tweet they're replying to. This improvement will make Twitter more conversational, and professional communicators in charge of Twitter for their brand or organization will have a greater opportunity to engage with people. But they will also have to deal with the potential challenges presented by the increased back-and-forth on the service.
Twitter is no stranger to adaptation. In recent months, the service has announced a bunch of new features, from native video to group messaging, which have aimed to make the user experience more enjoyable. The "quote tweet" feature is a welcome addition to the recent line of improvements.
Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene