Project Retweet has begun. New Twitter functionality rolling out now.Twitter has just announced the public limited roll out of its new retweet functionality.

In a blog post the company says:

We’ve just activated a feature called retweet on a very small percentage of accounts in order to see how it works in the wild. Retweet is a button that makes forwarding a particularly interesting tweet to all your followers very easy. In turn, we hope interesting, newsworthy, or even just plain funny information will spread quickly through the network making its way efficiently to the people who want or need to know.

So what is Project Retweet exactly?

Now, the Twitter website doesn’t currently support a Retweet (RT) option. As of now, you have to copy the person’s tweet, append an RT @”person who tweeted”. The trouble with that is that often, the 140 character tweet has to be shortened. Plus, if there’s a RT chain… you are Retweeting a Retweet, adding all the intermediaries is a major headache.

The Retweet is so popular, that though the Twitter site does not support it, most other third-party clients do. Be it the popular TwitterFox or Tweetdeck, or any other client on mobile, browser or desktop. Even in a recent study, less than 50% actually use the website.

So now, with Project Retweet, Twitter is allowing for RT support on the website. itself. The following picture indicates the idea.

retweet Project Retweet has begun. New Twitter functionality rolling out now.

And what it should look like once a tweet has been retweeted a number of times, courtesy of Mashable

Picture 17 Project Retweet has begun. New Twitter functionality rolling out now.