Twitter announced that it will be launching a new feature today that allows you to embed tweets on a website. Gone are the days of screenshotting Twitter pages and posting them as images.
The announcement on the official Twitter media blog came with the title “Tweets are the new quotes,” which highlights the direction Twitter wants to take this in.
Tweet-quoting using screenshots is already in play, but Twitter believes “a pasted-in image of a tweet is a bit of a hack.” They would say that, though.
The answer is a simple “snippet of code you’ll be able to use to generate simple, selectable flat-HTML tweets.” An example is shown here.
It all sounds great on the surface, but a lot of questions are left unanswered. For example, will private tweets be embeddable and how useful will they be to anyone not connected with the person? And what happens if someone deletes a tweet you have “quoted” on your website? Are you left with a big empty space or does it grab the previous tweet to fill the void?
The thing about posting a screenshot is that you can preserve something long after the original has disappeared. Until this issue is addressed it’s not entirely certain how useful tweet-quoting will be if you’re following someone who has a tendency to delete their own tweets.
And, of course, it all pales in comparison to something like embeddable Youtube videos, which have utility far beyond nabbing 140 words and the odd hash-tag. Twitter likes to think this will be the next form of quotation, but due to the innate limitations of Twitter we find that very hard to believe.
We have requested more info from Twitter and will update you as we get it.