Embeddable Tweets Could Increase Visibility for Twitter and Twitterers

    May 5, 2010
    Chris Crum

Update 2: Robin Sloan from Twitter, who created and announced the Blackbird Pie tool to embed tweets is stressing that this is just an experiment, at this point, and that calling it a Twitter feature makes him  "cringe" because he knows "what kind of care goes into real Twitter features."

For the record, I’ve only said that it should be a feature since it was revealed.

Robin Wauters is pointing to a bookmarket from Real-time curation that makes for easier Tweet embedding than the Blackbird Pie tool, and even displays the exact date/time of the tweet as opposed to "x minutes ago", which remains static with Blackbird Pie.

Update: Twitter has now revealed its embedded tweets, and I’m sorry to say it’s not an integrated feature of Twitter at this point. Rather, users can go here and enter a tweet URL to get the embed code and get an embeddable tweet like this:

Is Your Content Getting As Much Out of YouTube as it Could Be? http://twe.ly/dBeless than a minute ago via web

While there is still oppurtunities as discussed in this article to be had with this, it will not be nearly on the scale of what it could, if the embed option were simply a feature of the tweets themselves, as we assumed they would be. Frankly, that would make a whole lot more sense for Twitter and everyone else, but apparently they’re not ready to go down that road.

That said, now that they have released this could become reality in the future. They are taking feedback on the tool. Here’s part of what Twitter had to say about it:

We decided to take the janky script we’ve been using to generate static HTML tweets for posts (like the one you see here ), polish it up a bit, and make it public. And if tweets really are the new quotes , this should come in handy: Blackbird Pie .

The origin of the script is both self- and user-centered. Mostly, we just think it’s a pain to take screen grabs of tweets. But of course we also think it’s a much better user experience to have @-mentions, hashtags and the account itself all linked and clickable.

Regardless of whether or not embeddable tweets become integrated with Twitter itself, bloggers and content producers should still find this tool useful for enriching articles with Twitter quotes.

One other point worth mentioning is that the links within the embeded links are clickable, which should be helpful to those who posted the tweets in the first place. Rather than a screenshot, which may or may not link, the embedded tweets include links to both the tweet, and any link posted within the initial tweet.

Original Article: 
Have you ever considered that one of the reasons YouTube became so popular is because there are YouTube videos embedded all over the web? There is a good chance that on any given day, you will see YouTube videos without ever actually visiting YouTube. It’s one reason YouTube videos go viral. Now Twitter is launching embeddable tweets.

Will you tweet more when tweets can easily be embeddd in blog posts? Comment here.

Implications for Twitter

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the web, according to YouTube. In other ways, Twitter search holds that same title according to Twitter, as reported by Danny Sullivan, who also explains some of the caveats to this claim, which greatly dilute its effect. Either way, YouTube likely has embeddable videos to thank for a good deal of its visibility and ultimately its usage. If you think Twitter is big now, wait until Tweets are embedded everywhere.

Clearly there has been demand for such a feature as many publications (WebProNews included) place images of tweets in articles when quoting. If tweets are easily embeddable, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to see a lot more tweets visually appearing in content all over the web. Like it did for YouTube, this may bring a great deal more visibility and usage to Twitter.

Tweets as News

It’s no secret at this point that Twitter is a medium for breaking news. Sure, it’s a medium for a great deal of noise, but news breaks on Twitter all the time. Chalk it up to the ease of which it takes to enter in 140 characters or less on the scene from your mobile device. It’s a lot simpler than concocting an entire article or blog post.

News outlets are already turning to Twitter every day for stories and quotes, and to interact with their readerships/viewerships. Embedding tweets will only be an extension of this, in the online news world. It will likely inspire newsmakers to turn to Twitter first, so they can get their Tweet embedded in any publication or blog that chooses to cover the topic. The news-breaking tweet is likely to be the one embedded.

If you’re a news organization or a blogger yourself, it’s going to be much quicker and easier to assert yourself as the breaker of the news via a quick tweet before you take the time to write the post/article and give others a chance to catch up. If bloggers/journalists weren’t breaking their news with Twitter already, this is going to give them a greater incentive to do so.

Promoted Tweets

Twitter announced its ad platform Promoted Tweets last month. In this system, only tweets that receive high levels of engagement will remain promoted (and get that ad real estate at the top of relevant Twitter search results pages).

Starbucks Promoted Tweet (Via AdAge)
Image from AdAge

Embeddable Tweets will likely fuel engagement.  With the tweets appearing on various blogs and news sites, it’s gong to open up the audience for that particular tweet. It’s not going to be limited to one’s followers, and search queries. I’m surprised the embedded tweets don’t feature engagement buttons for replying, retweeting, and favoriting, as this would drive engagement much more, and contribute to the success of Promoted Tweets, but who’s to say they won’t include this stuff eventually.

Note: They haven’t actually rolled these embedded tweets out yet at the time of this writing, so there is a possibility that once they do they will be slightly different than the example Twitter has pointed to, but based on the sample provided, the buttons are not included, though it does link through to the actual tweet:

Embedded Tweet Sample

"It’s very simple. Just a snippet of code you’ll be able to use to generate simple, selectable flat-HTML tweets like the one we used here," says the company.

Increased Followers

To the point of increased visibility, it stands to reason that embedded tweets will also potentially lead to more followers for the Twitterer. Let’s say I’ve never heard of you, but you tweet about the kind of stuff I’m interested in. Being interested in that stuff, I might regularly read a blog about whatever that might be. Given that you tweet about that stuff, said blog may embed a particular tweet from you in some blog post. Then I see that tweet, which I find valuable, and discover a new person to follow on Twitter. Just like that, you’ve gained a new follower. Assuming that blog has more readers interested in that topic, you may gain a significant amount of new followers, all from that single tweet that was embedded in that single blog post.

More followers can of course lead to more retweets, and ultimately more traffic to your site/content. Then there’s the whole PageRank for social media scenario, which requires you to have quality followers engaging with your content.

Reason to Tweet More

This should be viewed as a reason to tweet more if you are currently a light Tweeter. The more you tweet, the more content there is that may be embedded by someone, then you can possibly reap the benefits discussed above.

That said, this isn’t reason to tweet insignificant thoughts. The content is king rule still applies here. Tweet things of value, and you will be more likely to attract embeds. It’s not really that different than attracting retweets in that sense.

I wouldn’t expect as many embeds as retweets by any means. Even if embedding a tweet is greatly simplified, it’s still not going to be as simple as hitting a retweet button, and not all of your followers have blogs or publications. However, those who view your tweets and do have blogs/publications may embed a valuable tweet, and they just may have a much bigger audience than you do on Twitter. It’s something to think about.

All in all, embeddable tweets are going to inject Twitter into more places on the web. It’s not exactly the gamechanger that  Facebook recently unleashed, but this will lead to an increased Twitter presence in content. In fact, this might be a bigger move for Twitter on the web than the @anywhere platform the company announced at SXSW, that lets publishers integrate Twitter with their sites.

Do you think embeddable tweets will help fuel Twitter growth and usefulness for business? Let us know.