Twitter is taking a leap into the media space with its new “expanded tweets.” Now when you look at tweets from media partners like ABC NEWS,
TIME, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, you can hover your mouse to see the first few sentences and an image from articles before you click. It’s the same mechanism that is already current being used to watch YouTube videos and Instagram pictures.
“When you expand a tweet linking to a news article by the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle or Der Spiegel Online, you can see a preview with the headline, the introduction and sometimes the Twitter accounts of the publisher and writer,” Michael Sippey, Twitter’s product team director, said on the company’s blog.
The feature is now available on Twitter’s main and mobile sites. However, “expanded tweets” do not yet worth through third-party Twitter clients, such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite. But there’s more –expanded tweets also include interactive content such as news stories, video galleries and audio clips. An expanded list of partner websites include The San Francisco Chronicle, Der Spiegel Online, Buzzfeed, TMZ, Lifetime, Dailymotion, WWE, Soundcloud and BET’s 106 & Park.
With this expansion, Twitter is staking a claim in the content market. Facebook already did something similar earlier this year by allowing you to see what your friends are reading on popular news sites or journals through the Facebook App. Updates like these are specifically designed to keep readers on Twitter, especially if they are only seeking a quick summary of the news.
On the other hand, “expanded tweets” also make it much easier to engage with content, which could bring posts, sounds, etc. that may otherwise be buried, out to see the light.
Earlier this month, the social network improved its hashtags: each tag can now link to a hashtag event page (such as #NASCAR to Sunday’s 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR race). Although the new features are content-based, one could see hosted brand pages as a step towards advertising content and events. You can also opt for “tailored” trends that are more relevant to your interests.
What do you think of Twitter’s new updates? Will this advertising would help or hinder journalism? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!