People who want to add their own thoughts to retweets now have more room to do so thanks to a change Twitter began rolling out today. The social network revised its “Quote Tweet” feature so that the retweeted content shows up as a card underneath a user’s commentary.
Here’s how it works: users find a tweet they want to share, then tap the retweet icon. On Twitter’s desktop interface, a pop-up will show up on screen that includes a comment box for people to tack on a few words of their own. On Twitter’s iPhone app, tap the “Quote Tweet” button for the same effect. (Twitter’s Android app is slated to get similar functionality soon.)
Commentary on quoted tweets is limited to 116 characters. It’s a vast improvement over the previous Quote Tweet function, which copied the text of a whole tweet from one person, and pasted it into a new tweet from the poster, wrapped in quotation marks with short attribution at the end. Any characters left over after all that were fair game for commentary, which meant that users only had a few dozen letters to convey any meaning.
Sharing tweets in this way is unique to Twitter’s first-party apps at this point, and it’s not clear if the company plans to add support for this new experience to its API, which would allow third-party developers to incorporate it into their apps. Don’t hold your breath – Twitter has kept its other Card-related innovations to itself.