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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twitter introduces new Cards, mobile app deep-linking

8:32 PM
In an invite-only event, Twitter has unveiled new Cards that display embedded content within tweets. The new Cards will allow for new capabilities like mobile app linking, photo galleries as well as product information.

Twitter Cards are essentially embedded informations that pop up within a tweet. When you click on a tweet of this sort, it opens up a drawer that contains such content. Tweets with additional information currently have an extra icon with information about the kind of content that is in the tweet. If the tweet contains an image, it will read “View photo” and for an embedded video, it reads, “View video”. For pretty much any other kind of information, including articles, it will read “View summary”.

New Twitter Cards will be a boon for app developers

Now Twitter is all set to “deep link” these Cards further into mobile apps as well as put out new types of Cards that will include additional information like product prices and availability, photo galleries and mobile app Cards.

“We first introduced expanded Tweets with three card types: summary, photo and player/video. Since then, we've heard that publishers want to be able to share different types of content. With these new card types, more publishers can show more types of content on Twitter,” wrote Jason Costa, Twitter's head of platform, in a blog post explaining how the need to add more Cards came about.

With App, Product and Gallery, the total count of Cards available on Twitter have now been pushed to six. With the App Card, you will be able to see more information about an app including its name, icon, description and other details like rating or price. Once the app developer has given the app’s information to Twitter, the micro-blogging website will also display details of it from the App Store or Google Play.

Using the Product Cards, devlepers will now be able to pull additional information from websites for products. Besides image and description of the product, Twitter will allow for two customisable fields that can display additional information like price or ratings.

You could straight away view the content in another app

Lastly, instead of just a single image, users will now be able to embed an album or collection of photographs via a preview of the photo gallery. It will indicate to a viewer that an entire gallery, and not just a single image has been shared.

The “deep linking” of Cards with mobile apps is possibly the most important development for Twitter right now. According to Twitter, this move will close the loop between content creation, content discovery and app downloads. Now, if there is information from any other app in a tweet, a user will be able top view it directly within the app or even download the app. Say, if you view an image pinned from Pinterest that your friend has tweeted out, you can now choose to view the pin in the app or download Pinterest on your phone first. Some of the partners who’ve already hopped onboard with the new Cards are Delectable, Etsy, Flickr, Foursquare, Gumroad, Jawbone, Path, Rovio's Angry Birds, SoundCloud, Storenvy, Wine Library and, obviously, Vine.

Cards had been introduced by Twitter back in June last year and had been lauded by all. This feature makes Twitter go from being a simple micro-blogging service to a huger service that can contain a world of information within itself.

Twitter had famously halted Card support to Instagram at the peak of their battle, causing a lot of heartburn to users. The micro-blogging service even kicked off the ability to add filters to images with its own photo hosting service, in association with Aviary post the tiff. While it doesn’t look like Instagram will be finding favours with the Cards anytime soon, we cannot wait to see what they look like with other services.


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