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Black Twitter

New Twitter ‘great for brands’, enables easy tweet embedding for websites

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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Twitter has rolled out a slew of changes. Included in the changes are a redesign and features which the social network claims will make it easier for people to embed tweets on their blogs and websites. Twitter says the changes will also help advertisers “create an even more compelling destination” for their brands.

According to Twitter, the new “simplified design”, which will appear on both the web and mobile versions (although only on mobile at first) of the social network, makes it “easier than ever to follow what you care about, connect with others and discover something new”.

Included in the redesign are four new illustrated tabs — home, an “@” symbol for connections, a “#” symbol subtitled “discover”, and a human profile labelled “me”.

Twitter claims the “#discover tab is your window into what interests you right now” and that “the more you use it, the better it gets”, suggesting it has functionality similar to that of web discovery engine StumbleUpon.

Among the most visible changes to the profile pages is a much larger header image. Twitter claims this change is perfect for brands as they can now give their “logo, tagline, and any other visuals” more prominence.

The changes also allow people to control which tweet first appears on their profile page. Twitter reckons this new ability to “promote tweets” is also great for brands as it “helps you highlight your most engaging and important content and better connect with your target audience”.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the promoted tweet, though, is that any media you link to in it — photo and video for instance — will appear expanded in your profile feed.

Mashable’s Sarah Kessler reckons, above all else, that these changes make “loud and clear” Twitter’s desire “to go after Facebook”.

Twitter has signed an exclusive deal with 21 brands, including tech giants Dell, HP, and Intel, as the first to receive the new “enhanced pages”.

Twitter users will also now be able to embed tweets on their blogs or websites with a simple line of code, like they can with YouTube videos.

The process is meant to be particularly easy for anyone using the WordPress platform. Twitter says that all WordPress users have to do is copy the tweet URL or “a familiar shortcode” and paste it into the post.

“Once published, WordPress instantly turns that URL or shortcode into an embedded Tweet,” says Twitter.

The 200-million plus strong social network claims the process is just as easy of any using the Posterous Spaces platform.

According to WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Twitter has also unveiled a feature that allows users to get a sneak preview of a WordPress post without having to click on a permalink.

“Our friends at Twitter have made it so that all wp.me links can be previewed, including snippets of posts and photos, directly on Twitter.com. In addition to this being something I’ve personally wanted for a while, we think it’ll get a lot more people visiting your blog”.

Anyone running a blog or website will also have a couple of new options when it comes to Twitter’s share buttons.

The new hashtag button, for instance, supposedly “tells your visitors there’s an interesting conversation happening on Twitter, and lets them join in with just one click”.

Twitter says that the @mention button, meanwhile “encourages visitors to Tweet to your account, driving public conversation directly from your website”.

The changes to Twitter are being rolled out on the social network’s mobile versions first. Anyone wanting early access on their computer can do so “by downloading and logging into Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android”.