The big tech blogs have all reported on The New York Times‘ recent experiment with what it calls “editorialized tweets”. In case you missed it, the feature allows news organizations to highlight chosen quotes and sentences in a story and allow readers to instantly turn those sections into individual tweets with a simple click or a tap. The links that appear in those subsequent tweets will drop readers right into the section of the article where the lines appear. Here’s how it works:
This is obviously great news for PR teams: a key quote by or about a client will get even more attention if it happens to appear in one of the article’s highlighted lines. Twitter‘s research on the experiment is encouraging, too.
The article chosen to begin this experiment, a long piece on the history of auditioning for Saturday Night Live, got shared 11 times more often than the standard Times article. Yes, some of this had to do with the fact that it was the first, but readers like being able to easily tweet the best sentences or quotes from articles rather than simply repeating headlines. Journalists already do this all the time, and Twitter reminds us that widgets already allow any news organization to embed “inline tweets” in a story.
Now the challenge lies in convincing these organizations to make a client’s quote or reference into a highlighted line. Or to simply provide more compelling quotes. Whichever comes first.