Twitter has launched its Tweet Button, whose goal is to simplify the sharing of Web links on Twitter both for Web publishers and for end users.
Web publishers who adopt the Tweet Button will let their visitors share links on Twitter without leaving their sites, which should benefit both publishers and visitors, according to Twitter.
The Tweet Button triggers a pop-up of a box that automatically incorporates a shortened URL of the page or item to be shared, Twitter said in a blog post on Thursday.
Publishers can also preconfigure the custom text they want each Tweet Button box to display to all users, as well as suggest to users other Twitter accounts they may want to follow, such as the ones from the site’s writers. “The Tweet Button will help publishers grow traffic and increase their Twitter following,” reads Twitter’s announcement.
Adding the Tweet Button to sites is a process Twitter describes as simple and requiring only a few lines of code.
“We wanted to make it so that publishers’ tech teams could integrate with Twitter in the easiest way possible,” said Jason Goldman, Twitter’s vice president of products, in an interview.
Other companies have provided similar capabilities, including TweetMeme, which is phasing out its popular “retweet” service, assisting Twitter with the rollout of the Tweet Button and moving on to provide other Twitter-related services.
“We have grown to more than 750 million daily retweet button impressions, which for a tiny team is an amazing achievement. That said the market requires an official solution that can accelerate this growth. So today Twitter is launching its own Tweet Button and we are very pleased to be partnering with them to continue to grow the overall Twitter ecosystem,” reads a TweetMeme statement
The plan is for TweetMeme’s “retweet” buttons to become Tweet Buttons, but the process will be gradual, and in the meantime TweetMeme “retweet” buttons will remain functional where they are.
Goldman explained that Twitter considers the Tweet Button functionality to be a core part of the microblogging service’s experience, and as such, Twitter wanted to make sure it is available in the broadest, richest and most reliable manner possible.
“The advantage to there being a Tweet Button from Twitter is that there is less user confusion in terms of this experience on a third-party site asking for your Twitter credentials,” Goldman said. “For publishers, the advantage is they know they’re working with the company that powers the information network behind the experience.”
“So it helps tightens the loop a little bit, and we also then can offer features and functionality that are tied into the main Twitter.com experience, like suggested accounts and other things publishers and users might find useful,” Goldman added.
Some of the sites that already have adopted the Tweet Button out of the gate include CNN.com, YouTube, Time.com, Hulu and USA Today.
Providing Web publishers with this type of sharing tool has become common for social media and social-networking sites, as Facebook did a few months ago with the launch of its now-ubiquitous “Like” button.
In June, nearly 93 million unique Internet users visited Twitter.com, a 109 percent jump from a year earlier, according to comScore. That number doesn’t take into account the many other people who use Twitter through external sites and applications.
Updated at 6:05 p.m. PT with an interview with Twitter’s Jason Goldman.