A Twitter employee has built a bit of code that makes it easy for users to embed tweets on a blog. Twitter has announced this development on their media blog.
To date, users quote tweets in blog posts and articles by either pasting the contents of the tweet or adding a screenshot of the tweet. Twitter has gone so far as to say “a pasted-in image of a tweet is a bit of a hack”.
Now, however, Twitter has decided to make this process more official. Authors can embed the actual tweets in their posts and articles, thereby ensuring that the tweet is quoted accurately.
Blackbird Pie, created by Robin Sloan, is a tool that accepts the URL of a tweet and outputs a snippet of code that presents the tweet with formatting, a time stamp and the URL of the Twitter account.
Rather than using some fancy script that pulls actual tweets from the Twitter database, the tool merely pulls the tweet data, formatting, user icon and time stamp (when the tool was used) and generates plain HTML code that displays the tweet contents formatted exactly as it is on Twitter. Authors can then present the exact visual replica of the tweet on the third-party site.
The result looks like this:
Top 20 most popular Gay Ads over the past month http://t.co/YNr3cNXSLg
— Pink! AccuraCast (@GayAdAgency) August 2, 2014
Code for embedded tweets could allow Twitter to track which sites are embedding their tweets and also the total number of embeds that a tweet receives. Sites that embed tweets will also have the advantage of knowing whether or not the embed will improve their ranking on the search results page.
Twitter could also use this system of embedding to improve their Promoted Tweets advertising interface. Search engines will also find it easier to index tweets. There is some danger, however, that embedding may indirectly allow personal data to be abused by spammers.