I don't usually have anything nice to say about Twitter (though I still ignore my mother's advice and say it anyway), but the company is finally taking steps to improve one of the most glaring faults with their service: retweets.
One of the main confusions and criticisms about the retweet API was
around what happens when a given tweet is retweeted multiple times.
The explanation was that developers need to do their own retweet
collapsing. If N people retweet a given tweet, you'd get N instances
of that same tweet in the appropriate retweet timeline and the home
timeline. You would then have to do your own internal book keeping
about whether that tweet had already come in. If it hadn't you'd
display it for the first time. If it had you'd update the already
Asking developers to collapse retweets in timelines is onerous,
complicated and confusing. We're not going to do it that way. We are
going to add a resource that gives you all retweets for a given tweet.
In timelines you will get only the first retweet. You can then request
all retweets for that tweet at any time to get up to 100 retweets that
have been created for it.
So we are on our way toward a real data model! No longer will data be spuriously copied and clutter the Twittersphere - now information will retain one form, with many instances of the same. This is a mature approach and how it should have been handled in the first place. Bravo to the Twitter team - late is infinitely better than never.