Twitter Aug. 12 introduced its much anticipated Tweet Button for Websites to install and let users share links directly from the Web page they're viewing.
When users click the Tweet Button, a Tweet box will appear prepopulated with a shortened link that points to the item that users wish to share with their Twitter followers.
Once users post, Twitter may show them suggestions for accounts to follow suggested by the Website they visited.
The Tweet Button means Websites will no longer have to copy, paste and shorten links from services such as Bit.ly before publishing them to Twitter. Websites can install Tweet Button with just a few code snippets.
The tool is a no brainer at a time when more than 100 million Twitter users are crawling the Web and retweeting everything of interest to them.
The Tweet Button also co-opts the chief task of TweetMeme, whose own retweet buttons eWEEK and several other Websites have used for a year or so.
It's the latest example of Twitter building and promoting its own software products after third-party programmers have already capitalized on Twitter's platform APIs.
Earlier this year, Twitter scared developers by issuing its own BlackBerry, Android and iPhone apps.
Cannibalizing the developer ecosystem could haunt Twitter as long as it keeps building its own versions of solutions that already populate the market.
However, Twitter seems to have done right by TweetMeme, with whom it now has an integration and data deal. Whenever users click on the TweetMeme button installed on a Website, users will be pointed to the Tweet Button.
TweetMeme founder and CEO Nick Halstead said TweetMeme is assisting Twitter with the "technical challenges involved with the button" and is launching new products that leverage Twitter's Firehose API.
The first of these is DataSift, which helps third-party developers tune tweets through a graphical interface or TweetMeme's bespoke programming language.
Meanwhile, Twitter has secured 30 Websites to use the Tweet Button upon launch. These include Google's YouTube property, Ask.com, SFGate.com, The Onion and Time.com.