Two weeks ago, Twitter launched their official Tweet button. That, in my opinion, was landmark launch – because it fundamentally changes the way we look at Twitter sharing and the numbers that get associated with the tweets. Other applications like TweetMeme and Topsy have been doing this for over an year now, but this change is nevertheless important for the reasons I am going to discuss below.
Twitter’s blog post from the day it was launched sums up the gist of the new button very well:
Twitter is great for sharing interesting things you find on the web. In fact, close to a quarter of all Tweets include a link in them. Despite the high volume of sharing, there is plenty of room to make it easier. Copying and pasting, link shortening, and bouncing between browser tabs just to share a link in a Tweet is too much work.
And if you haven’t seen it already, the short video that demonstrates the new Twitter button is a short and recommended watch.
The folks over at Twitter seem to be on a roll – this Friday they also put out a Tweet button bookmarklet to share links from any page. Not a game changer, but a pretty nifty shortcut.
But what if you go to a site that doesn’t have a Tweet Button? Have no fear. Today, we’re making available a Tweet Button Bookmarklet that allows you to tweet a link with your own commentary from anywhere on the web. You just need to drag and drop the Bookmarklet into your browser’s bookmark bar.
There are a bunch of key reasons why you should be using the new Twitter buttons on your blog:
1. Positive Next Actions:
One of the best features this, you can actually have your audience follow you after they tweet using the Twitter button from your posts – or recommend other accounts to follow. It can be configured while creating the button – and a bunch of other plugins also enable this feature.
Recommend up to two Twitter accounts for users to follow after they share content from your website. These accounts could include your own, or that of a contributor or a partner.
Kipp Bodnar had this write up on HubSpot which talks about this best –
Twitter provides one major reason to switch to the new Tweet Button from TweetMeme’s existing button: suggested followers. A common goal of many businesses on Twitter is to increase followers and reach. By installing the new button, businesses can then add their corporate Twitter account(s), which will be recommended when new site visitors use the Tweet Button. As a marketer, it makes sense to switch to this new button now ….
The Twitter button and the new bookmarklet share links using Twitter’s new URL shortening service t.co. Per Twitter,
Twitter’s link service at http://t.co is used to better protect users from malicious sites that engage in spreading malware, phishing attacks, and other harmful activity. A link converted by Twitter’s link service is checked against a list of potentially dangerous sites. When there’s a match, users can be warned before they continue:
So looks like there is an inbuilt level of security that your audience will have when links point back to your content. Will users will have a greater sense of security when clicking on t.co links – as opposed to bit.ly, ow.ly, tinyurl.com or any other URL shortening services needs to be seen.
Bit.ly also has these security mechanisms in place:
Bit.ly, the service Twitter uses to shorten URLs to keep them under the service’s 140-character limit, announced partnerships on Monday with Verisign, Websense and Sophos that are designed to keep spam and malicious software off of the network.
- We will have to wait and see how effective the t.co service is in really filtering out malicious content – and reducing false positives.
- Also, only time will tell if the t.co service can filter out malicious links in real time – or if there is a lag time during which the links get through.
3. Language Support:
The new Twitter buttons tout native support in four languages other than English – French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
This is a good start, and while custom buttons can be created using the Twitter API, it would definitely be nice to have more languages natively supported. After all, it doesn’t take more than an image change to add new languages, does it?
Not to say that the Twitter button does not have it’s shortcomings. You definitely need to be aware of a bunch of limitations:
1. Links Cannot Be Customized: Unlike Biy.ly where you can customize links if you sign up for a free account, the t.co links cannot be customized (yet).
2. Click Track Analytics Missing: Bit.ly offers analytics support for the URLs shortened through it – and as Mashable says,
When you use a URL shortener, it’s always a smart idea to use one that has analytics information, like Bit.ly. This will track information like number of clicks, traffic sources, and even at what time clicks occur.
Testing, Testing, Testing
Think about it…with bit.ly you can track link metrics.
With TweetDeck’s latest version, you can schedule Tweets across time zones.
With 140 characters, you can test headlines, content, and media.
Are you starting to see where I’m going?
The Greatest Sandbox in the World
What do you think about the new Twitter buttons?
Are you using them – and with what results?
Or are you staying away from – and why?
I would love to hear your views.
P.S.: There are two recommended reads that go well with this post: