Huge update from Twitter today that, while appearing fairly simple on first look, could be an early indication of some big changes on the platform: you can now embed tweets within tweets.
What does this mean? Take a look at my tweet below where I have (ahem) embedded one of my own tweets within another tweet:
This has to be done manually, but that’s easy enough – just copy and paste the full URL of the tweet you want to embed. Twitter does the rest. The embedded tweet is clickable, taking you through to the full version of that tweet, which is fine and dandy, but what’s super cool about this feature is that embedded tweets only take up the same amount of space as any other (shortened) link, meaning you have 100+ characters of free space for your own comments.
Even better, if you embed a tweet that includes an embedded tweet into another new tweet (phew), they all link together, in a chain. Go here to test, clicking through the embedded tweets (and enjoy my gradual realisation, in reverse, about how this all works).
The icing on the cake? When you embed a tweet the other user is alerted in their Notifications, as per any other @username comment. Nice!
Please note that at the time of writing this feature only works on Twitter.com and the official Twitter iOS and Android apps. No word yet on whether it will be rolling out to third party apps and dashboards such as Hootsuite. I am also hearing reports that it doesn’t work on all Twitter products, such as TweetDeck.
This is already pretty cool, but where I think it really matters is that I believe it’s an early step towards Twitter adding the full “retweet with comment” feature to the platform, which a few iOS users saw last month as one of Twitter’s many experiments.
I don’t yet have retweet with comment on my iPhone or iPad but I have a feeling that it’s coming soon, and that Twitter is testing the waters with these embeddable tweets. In the meantime, you can use embedded tweets to sort of manually retweet with comment yourself – just write your own cop, paste in the full link to the tweet and publish. As above, the person you “retweeted” will be notified.