Twitter Announces Web Intents – Embeddable, Functional Tweets For Bloggers And Websites

Adding tweets to blog posts and websites has always been a little bit of a pain in the derriere. Most of us copy and paste the tweets as images into Photoshop and ‘embed’ them that way, but it’s a bit of a chore. More importantly, any functionality within the tweet is not preserved in the image, which can be confusing for readers, and is far from an optimal way to display this content.

In May last year, Twitter half-announced a feature called Blackbird Pie, which allowed bloggers to embed tweets into their posts. However, it was never meant to be an official product but simply more of an experiment by Twitter media guy Robin Sloan. Good thing too, as it was pretty hideous.

Finally, we get an official product from Twitter’s web development team, and it’s called Web Intents.

Lousy title aside – the word ‘Twitter’ in there somewhere would have been nice – this looks pretty juicy.

Web Intents provide popup-optimized flows for working with Tweets & Twitter Users: Tweet, Reply, Retweet, Favorite, and Follow. They make it possible for users to interact with Twitter content in the context of your site, without leaving the page or having to authorize a new app just for the interaction. Web intents are mobile friendly, and super easy to implement.

Web Intents automatically detect whether the end user is currently logged in to and asks for login when necessary. If the user does not yet have a Twitter account, they’ll have the opportunity to create one before realizing their original intention.

Try it for yourself – simply click on the image of one of Jack Dorsey’s tweets below. users can benefit from this new tool immediately. The rest of us might have to spend a little while pouring through the source code (or wait for the inevitable self-hosted WordPress plugin), but rest assured we’ll be doing our very best to bring this to as soon as possible.

(Hat tip: RWW.)