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In its developer Google Group, Twitter has just made the announcement that it is releasing an early preview of a brand new API: The retweeting API. And that's not all, Twitter is in the process of completely revamping its retweet functionality.

From the looks of it, this could mean some pretty big changes on Twitter. As you can see in the mock-ups above and below, the retweet (written as "RT" in most tweets) is no longer a part of the actual tweet itself, but rather is a link below the tweet. While that certainly is a cleaner way of doing things, it will be interesting to see if this makes retweeting less or more enticing. And it could potentially help users find new people to follow (more on that below).

But as co-founder Biz Stone notes on the Twitter blog, the current method of retweeting on twitter.com is a cumbersome process of copying and pasting. They want to change that. He calls this "Phase One" of "Project Retweet," and notes that it is going out to developers first so they can be ready for the change, and indicates that it's not quite ready for prime-time:



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