Ever drifted over to Twitter and been left wondering about the story behind that obscure trending topic? Twitter’s newest feature hopes to make your search for an explanation a little easier by surfacing related headlines with tweets.
According to Twitter software engineer Brian Wallerstein, the social network site is rolling out a new section to tweets permalink pages, which includes related news from its media partners. At present, the feature only works for tweets which have been embedded on other websites by Twitter partners, and is designed to link the cited tweet with larger commentary about the topic. For example, related headlines about the Asiana flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport appear on this tweet from an eyewitness:
While the new feature is only visible on the web version of individual tweet pages and not in the general Twitter stream or on embedded links, it could potentially help users trying to find out more about the story behind the tweet, as well as help publishers gain some added referral traffic from the social network site. As Twitter product manager Brian Ellin points out, when publishers embed a tweet, the headline of their article and Twitter account will appear in a prominent place on the tweet’s permalink page “for all to see.” “We think this will help more people discover the larger story behind the tweet, drive clicks to your articles, and help grow your audience on Twitter,” he says, adding that they will be bringing “headlines to more publishers and embedded Tweet partners in the coming weeks”.
The move is the latest in a stream of media and advertising-related decisions by the social network, which has been working to secure its place as the go-to network for real-time news and discussions. It has previously introduced expanded previews of links to partner websites, allowing users to read headlines and the first few lines of a story before clicking the link, and rolled out a guide on best practices for journalists.