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This article was published on May 27, 2010

Google Buzz Gets A Retweet Function, Users Can Now “Reshare”

Google Buzz Gets A Retweet Function, Users Can Now “Reshare”
Matt Brian
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Matt Brian

Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him on Google+.

Google has switched on a new feature for Buzz called “Reshare” that incorporates a retweet-like function inside posts that allows users to share content in just two clicks.

In a post on the Official Gmail Blog, Sam Goto – Software Engineer at Google explained that the Gmail team had been testing the new Reshare function over a two week period, deciding to release the tool to Gmail users today.

Reshare works much the same way as the official Twitter Retweet function but allows you to add your own content. Instead of having to manually copy and paste the update and maybe add an @reply, Reshare adds the content to the Buzz editor much the same was when you share a link or picture. The user can then add comments before “Resharing” with all of their followers:

When a post is Reshared, it will include a link back to the original post except if it is flagged as private.

Goto posts how the Gmail team designed and implemented the function:

Reshare has been one of our top user requests, so we hope we’ve made a number of you happy. We realize that just as many will likely wonder why we decided to implement it the way we did. So, here’s a bit more background for those who are curious:

  • First, back to those two clicks: one click vs. two click reshare was a hard choice (I know, it doesn’t sound so hard, but we spent a lot of time on this!). Ultimately, we chose to go with two clicks because we want people to be able to reshare publicly or privately and also encourage resharers to add their own new content to the post.
  • If you follow a bunch of people who all reshare the same thing, the last thing you want is for that same post to appear over and over again. When this happens, similar posts get collapsed, so you should only see each thing once.
  • You’ll notice that resharing creates a new post, effectively forking the conversation. To fork or not fork was a decision we debated for a while. Ultimately, we think forked conversations help create more varied, intimate discussions around a single item. We realize people may want a non-forking version too, so we’re thinking about how to do that as well.
  • When there is a chain of reshares, the names of all of the people who publicly reshare the post appear on the original item, even if they’re not directly connected to the original author. If you share something that ends up getting passed around by lots of other people, it’s pretty cool to see that.
  • If you “like” a reshare, you don’t automatically also “like” the original post. Imagine what would happen if I reshare a very positive movie review and write “What a joke! This movie was terrible!” Someone who likes my post probably doesn’t want their “like” showing on the original post praising the film, too.

The Reshare function is a “work in progress” and will see regular updates in the future. Some may see the new feature right away, others may have to wait until their account is updated.

What do you think? Will it help Buzz grow as a useful networking tool? Leave your thoughts in the comments.