How many times was I re-tweeted (RT'd)?
February 14, 2011 10:36 AM   Subscribe

What's up with Twitter and the Re-Tweet?

There is something about Twitter that I never have been able to figure out.

I posted this tweet a few days ago:!/merubin/statuses/36470857056395264

When I click on the Tweet from, it says that it's been RT'd by two users (@audiochic and @texdanny). However, when I do a search for it (see the link below, I don't see any RT's.

A search for my name and the term 174 that doesn't show the two RT's:

What gives? This may seem trivial, but I do a search every day on my company's name and how often it's re-tweeted. I'm trying to get an accurate read on how many times a particular Tweet has been RT'd, and i used to just count the RT's. But there seems to be an apparent contradiction going on, or more likely, I'm just not understanding exactly how this works.

Can anyone help?
posted by zooropa to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Are you literally searching for the letters "RT?" Because Twitter's "new" (it's been there for a few months) built-in retweet mechanism doesn't involve tacking on more text. It just marks it as 'retweeted by user X' and it shows up to that user's followers.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:49 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Twitter's internal retweet tool does not actually "repost" tweets, it just "rebroadcasts" them to that users audience. The original retweet style (where you actually copied/pasted and added "RT @username" to the front) is actually a separate post under the RTers username, so it's a distinct tweet and thus is a new item in search.
posted by cvp at 10:49 AM on February 14, 2011

what Tomorrowful and cvp said is true, but in that case you would be able to see the tweet retweeted on the retweeter's timeline, or not?
posted by uauage at 10:55 AM on February 14, 2011

Ugh. That's a "feature" that's actually a bug.

They've done it so you don't get overwhelmed with all your friends retweeting the same thing, but it (IMHO) causes more problems than it solves. E.g., it's difficult to respond to the retweeter (who is normally the one you'd be responding to) rather than the originator.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:56 AM on February 14, 2011

what Tomorrowful and cvp said is true, but in that case you would be able to see the tweet retweeted on the retweeter's timeline, or not?

You do see it in the retweeter's timeline, but it's not going to show up in a search as a separate tweet. The idea is that if I say something witty, and 100 people retweet it, there's still only one tweet in existence that shows up in multiple timelines, rather than 101, of which one is "Witty Thing" and the other 100 are "RT @tomorrowful Witty Thing."
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:58 AM on February 14, 2011

If you want to see how many times your tweets have been retweeted you can use a tool like which counts favorites and retweets for you if you sign in.
posted by sveskemus at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2011

Comparison of the traditional 'RT @' retweet vs Twitter's so called retweet function. It also explains why they did this ($$).
posted by Lanark at 1:01 PM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Following on to sveskemus's idea: Icerocket.
posted by brainwane at 2:26 PM on February 14, 2011

What tools do you use.




Boxcar (Superfast - like, Instant RT/follow/etc etc status reporting)

All have facets that will assist you with your goal. Personally I use all of them, for different things, on different platforms.

What I don't use is twitter.
posted by DrtyBlvd at 5:02 PM on February 14, 2011

Under the Retweets menu it should list the tweets under "Your tweets, retweeted."
posted by IndigoRain at 8:11 PM on February 14, 2011

Response by poster: IndigoRain -- Yes, but the problem is that Twitter only tells you one person who retweeted you using that link. When you select "Your tweets, retweeted", it will show you one RT as well as "and others." The probllem is that it doesn't tell you who "and others" are.

Generally speaking, I use Hootsuite. I find that it doesn't pick up other RT's unless the person has actually spelled out "RT." It doesn't pick up re-tweets from people who click "Retweet" on or on mobile devices.

That's a major WTF for me.
posted by zooropa at 8:17 PM on February 24, 2011

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