3 Reasons To Use The New Twitter Buttons On Your Blog

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 ….

2. Safety:

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.

A couple of caveats here might be worth mentioning –
  • 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.

Nathan Hangen had an wonderful post of the power of Twitter for split testing using Bit.ly – and using the new buttons will not let you run your split tests.

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

A lot of social sharing plugins like Digg Digg and Sharebar are already incorporating the new Twitter buttons in their configuration options.

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:

1. Andy Beard’s post on his blog, where he talks about 7 Reasons Not To Use The New Tweet Buttons. Pretty solid reasons – along with some follow up comments by a Twitter developer.

2. Leland’s (of ThemeLabs) post, Want More Retweets, Use The Official Tweet Button.

5 Responses to 3 Reasons To Use The New Twitter Buttons On Your Blog
  1. Rob Cairns
    Twitter: robcairns
    August 23, 2010 | 9:42 am

    Great article about the new Twitter buttons.

    At this point I am not using them but I am also looking at them as I finish my current blog revamp. Time will tell if I find them of value. At this point I am open minded but one thing will sway me in the end. If too many people use them I probably will not because it will just make my blog look like everyone else’s and I like my blog to stand out.

    I do like the discussion in the article about URL shortener services. The security when using a shortened link has always been a concern and I am glad that Twitter and bit.ly are putting some security checking into their services.
    Rob Cairns recently posted… Leo Laporte and Engaging

    • Kapil Apshankar
      August 27, 2010 | 12:52 am

      I’m seeing the new Twitter buttons almost everywhere, Rob. I’m guessing a lot of bloggers will just go with the flow in adopting them.

      You can customize the Twitter buttons using APIs even now – so that should be able handle your concerns around uniqueness, and being able to stand out from the crowd.

      I personally like bit.ly more right now, given that I can customize it, and run some analytics on the URLs. I’m guessing t.co will catch up pretty soon and level the playing field.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you come back often 🙂

      • Rob Cairns
        Twitter: robcairns
        August 27, 2010 | 7:16 am

        Your welcome:) Glad I did stop by. I already have a Twitter feed on my blog, for me that works. Bit.ly tends to be she one I us often as well.

        I have added your blog to my RSS reader so I will be reading more and more. Thank you for sharing:)
        Rob Cairns recently posted… Top 10 Reasons I Need A Pogo Plug

  2. Danny Brown
    Twitter: DannyBrown
    August 23, 2010 | 1:31 pm

    It’s great to see Twitter getting back in their own game, so to speak. I always wondered why a company would let so many third parties have control.

    Having said that, I’m not sure how effective the Recommended User option will be. Twitter’s not offering tracking for that kind of thing, so effectiveness can’t be measured.

    Additionally, many folks might just see it as blatant self-promotion, and ignore the recommendation on that basis alone.

    I know I have already… 😉
    Danny Brown recently posted… Headway- Thesis and Genesis – A Non-Coder’s Take

    • Kapil Apshankar
      August 27, 2010 | 12:55 am

      Yes – I would definitely like to see Twitter catching up on the analytics, both for Recommended Users and the t.co shortening service.

      The two Twitter accounts restriction on the Recommended Users baffled me. Why two? Why not three – or one?

      Sure, there’s an element of self-promotion in it, but I think it’s still relevant and has some merit in it. It gives the audience the ability to follow someone whom they happen to just stumble upon (no pun intended :))