Over the years, the popular life, mind and purely obscure 140-character or less casting site Twitter has continued to evolve. First, it all started as just a "text it to the internet" site in the age before "smart" smart phones. Around 2009-2010, Twitter became a popular app that made it easier for people to let us know how their sandwich was or how great of workout they just had, even when we did not want to hear about it. During that time people were more apt to reply to a tweet or retweet it just to show how much they may have, or may not have, cared. Then, in the past year or so, Twitter released a new feature: favoriting.
In today's fast paced world, sometimes, favoriting a tweet just seems easier some days. All you have to do is click on the little "star" icon and you are on your way. What good does it do, though? No one else, aside from the tweeter, can see that you have favorited their tweet. You don't open it up for your followers for them to send it out to theirs and so on and so forth. It kills a tweet. It drops down like a rock in a pond. If it is not seen by the original persons followers right away, then what good does a "favorite" end up doing
So then what is the best choice: reply or retweet? Well, truthfully, a retweet not only boosts the original tweeters presence on Twitter, but it also has the chance of boosting your presence as well. A retweet can do so many different things. First, it can show emotion in the form of happiness because the tweet in question may have made you laugh, smile or just feel like someone else could benefit from seeing it. Second, it can help a growing business grow faster.
When someone recites a link, it creates the link-back to the webpage that was originally tweeted. Lastly, it gives you a better chance of gaining more followers that you did not know or couldn't find prior. A retweet is like getting your work up on the bulletin board back in grade school. It is there for everyone to see when they pass by it, even if they don't actually know you.
A favorite is literally the gold star. You know it is there, but no one else does. You care that you may have gotten one, but no one else does.
So what about reply's? What purpose do they serve in the whole scheme of Twitter? Truthfully, they serve as the direct connection between a tweeter and a tweetee. You can "personally" give praise for something or ask a question without negative ramifications. If you did not completely love what the tweet said, you can just reply and in the conversation thread, people can still find the link, giving the original tweet its due. It doesn't work the same way as a retweet, but can have similar effects.
Overall, Twitter is controlled by the user. They decide whether or not they want to do any of these three things. As an avid Twitter user though, it should be urged that people retweet links more than anything else. Help your fellow tweeter's out and retweet their news to your followers. Even if they don't all want that info, you are still giving others the choice to follow the link or not.
So get out there and tweet away. There's only 140 characters to get your thought out there.