July 1, 2013
Twitter Lists Embedded Tweet Sites, And Then Promptly Removes Them
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Yesterday security expert Mikko Hypponen mentioned something interesting that he saw on Twitter. In a Tweet, he asked if Twitter had always listed which websites had embedded a particular Tweet. TechCrunch and The Verge quickly pointed out Hyponnen's Tweet in stories which appeared on their respective websites, complete with embedded Tweets.Now, likely due to the attention this feature received early on, the embedded Tweets lists have disappeared. It's assumed Twitter was testing this feature as part of a recent experiment to make Tweets stand out in a typically noisy environment, since one way to bring more attention to particular Tweets is to embed them in a webpage. This posts the actual Tweet into the page as opposed to just a screenshot of the image.
"Has Twitter always shown where particular tweets are embedded on?" asked Mikko Hypponen in a Tweet sent out yesterday evening.
He attached a screen shot to this Tweet which shows how one of his earlier Tweets was displayed on Twitter.com.
Following his Tweet about the hacking of the EU Parliament, there is a list of users who have either re-tweeted his comment or favorited them. The avatars of some of the users who have interacted with his Tweet are also displayed to the right of these statistics, and the time stamp of the Tweet is posted below. Beneath these familiar options is a list called "Embedded on these websites" which includes clickable links to the websites which have embedded the Tweet directly into the webpage.
In Hypponen's screen shot, his Tweet is seen embedded on Gawker and Crowdmap, though this list is now missing from this specific Tweet. Another popular Tweet from @TheWhiteHouse which once displayed this embedded list is now free of it, confirming Twitter has now removed the feature.
Like any new feature Twitter rolls out to their platform, the "embedded on these websites" list is seen as another way Twitter can monetize through marketing and advertising.
Listing where individual Tweets have been embedded could potentially drive traffic to websites as well as give advertisers an opportunity to include themselves in this list somewhere along the way. As noted by TechCrunch, Twitter's new keyword search style of advertising could also play a role in a future roll out of embeddable tweets.
Twitter announced in April they would begin allowing advertisers to target their ads towards users who tweet certain searchable keywords. These ads would then show up in that user's timeline and, like other sponsored Tweets, could then be dismissed.
A list of embeddable Tweets would not only give advertisers a new avenue through which to reach new customers, it could also help Twitter achieve their goal of giving individual Tweets a platform for being found more easily, especially in a world where Tweets are fired off in rapid succession. Last Week CEO Dick Costello mentioned wanting to build something that worked like a "DVR Mode" in Twitter which would allow users coming into a conversation later on to track back to the beginning.
"That ability to track and monitor the moments within an event, either as they happen or to catch up with them, is something we want to enhance," said Costolo.
"We want to make that experience even better, curating the moments within the event, the media from it, and making it that much easier to navigate."