Here are some of the most common reasons people use “via” instead of “RT” for retweeting. Be sure to also read the “Retweet Glossary, Syntax and Punctuation.”
“I use ‘RT’ when I need to do a direct quote and the statement wouldn’t make any sense if the reader thought it was coming from me. (E.g., ‘RT @lessallan ‘A new version or website is up. Go check it out! http://lesseverything.com’) But I use ‘via’ when I’m just sort of passing along information. (E.g., ‘Tweetie for Mac is available. Go download it! (via @lessallan)’.) In summary, ‘(via)’ is like citing a source, RT is a direct quote.” Source
“Some people use ‘via’ … meaning that they just found out about it from this person, and they’re not necessarily quoting them.” Source
“We use via … to reword a tweet (maybe even a link) into our own tweet with our own input into what we think about it, but giving some of the credit to the original poster of the material.” Source
“… ‘via’ on the other hand is used when you want to add your own context to some existing tweet while attributing it to the original author.” Source
“Via is very useful when you want to … simplify the original tweet.” Source
“The use of via is clearly giving credit to the original Tweeter. But, most importantly, I get to convey this information in my own words.
“Tips for using ‘via @’ … contribut(e) in your own words something relevant to the content…” Source
“… use “via” to simplify and highlight the original tweet. Particularly when passing on inspirational quotes.” Source
“… use via if rewording the tweet …” Source
Some people complain of fatigue from seeing “RT” in front of so many tweets, and claim to skip them without reading. Using “via” at the end is therefore also a way to put the information first and the credit/attribution last, as is more common in non-tweet forms of writing. Also, some apps automatically use via without an option to choose (credit: @rslaats) as via has been growing in popularity. This automatically allows for comments but best would be to offer users a choice.
Originally published at: http://controltheweb.blogspot.com/2009/11/twitter-retweets-why-do-some-people-use.html