One of the tens of thousands of third-party apps available to help a tweeter use Twitter caught my eye recently. It had functionality I’d been seeking for a long time for the Bellevue Police Department in Nebraska. We launched it immediately.

Among many other things, GroupTweet allows accounts to retweet important people automatically by the inclusion of a hashtag. In Bellevue, for the past three years the officers would tweet and would be manually retweeted into the police tweetstream. There are many other auto-retweet tools, but we couldn’t find one that would include the original tweeter name as well as make the tweet look like any other retweet.

There were two features that were must-haves:
1. The retweet needed to include the original tweeter’s name.
2. We didn’t want every tweet to be retweeted from each tweeter.

GroupTweet solves both problems. It gives you a range of tweet format choices. And the original tweeter can determine which of his/her tweets is retweeted by the main account.

In the image above, the tweet sent by @SgtCReed contains the hashtag #pd. When he sent it, it was nearly instantaneously retweetd by @BellevuePolice. Any tweet he doesn’t want retweeted, he would simply leave out the hashtag. And also note, the hashtag is omitted in the retweet. That’s a special option in GroupTweet.

Another use for GroupTweet would be for select internal communication needs. One could set up a “protected” account on Twitter where you have to be approved before following it. Put that account into GroupTweet. The account can be configured to receive messages from its GroupTweet members via direct message, those direct messages would then be retweeted by the private/locked account to be seen by the other members. This last paragraph will be a bit more clear after you’ve played around with GroupTweet, which I hope you do.

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