Facebook Adds “Retweet” Function

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Facebook has added functionality similar to Twitter’s (in)famous retweets, allowing users to share linked content from their friends with friends who might now know them.

Word comes from AllFacebook that the folks at Facebook have moved to include a “Share” button on links that are being passed around. This means that if a friend posts something you really enjoy, you can click the share button and pass it on to any non-mutual friends, with their name tagged in as “via TheirName.”

While many have criticised the fact that Facebook has incorporated elements of Twitter’s makeup, the fact is that, for the most part, those additions do tend to round out the Facebook experience more than a little. Strange as it might seem, I ran into the need for this kind of link re-sharing functionality the other day, and it took a second for my brain to shift back into “Facebook gear” and I remembered that it wasn’t an option.

It seems likely that the folks at Facebook will come under fire for this one though, if for no other reason than it seeming like a Twitter feature being imported. It’s relatively simple, but the fact is that a fairly vocal portion of Facebook’s user base do seem to have a very pronounced distaste for Twitter (something that comes to the fore with almost every change made to the service).

Still, it’ll be interesting to see just how well this fits with Facebook’s model; because mutual following isn’t required on Twitter, the networks that people build are very different indeed. By contrast, a Facebook friend request goes in both directions, leading often (perhaps ironically) to more closed networks… it stands to reason that in many cases the re-sharing of links could well just be annoying for a large proportion of people.

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