Twitter made public on May 4 a way to generate embeddable tweets, allowing digital media types to drop relevant tweets into their news stories and blog posts the same way they add Scribd documents and YouTube videos to liven up their content.
To date, bloggers using Twitter messages to accompany their news content have simply taken screenshots of relevant tweets and pasted them into their posts.
Twitter's Media blog points to this post from ReadWriteWeb as an example of a "hyper-curated" collection of tweets presented with context.
Twitter said while it appreciates ReadWriteWeb's use of real tweets to bring the piece together, "a pasted-in image of a tweet is a bit of a hack." And so, the company is providing a way to add a code snippet "to generate simple, selectable flat-HTML tweets."
Robin Sloan, who works on media partnerships at Twitter, told ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick that the new approach to embeddable tweets employs "a little script that generates a block of HTML that looks just like an embedded tweet, but is just normal HTML text (instead of a flat image)."
Try it out here. When users paste it into a Website, the tweet will pick up some of the styling. Readers can click the link to go straight to the account of the Twitter user who published the tweet, as well as to the original tweet.
Twitter noted that shorter code and better timestamp are in the works.
This feature should be hugely popular among bloggers looking to curate tweets for context in stories they write. But it is unclear how far this will extend beyond typical Twitter users tweeting their daily habits, such as what they had for breakfast or where they had lunch.
The move comes a couple weeks after Twitter wrapped up its Chirp developer conference on April 15 in San Francisco.
There executives unveiled Twitter's advertising plans and @anywhere effort to extend the social network beyond its Website. Twitter also assured developers they would not find their work cannibalized if they built the right applications.