Until now, there has been no quick and simple way to embed a functional Tweet in a blog post. That is, most of us bloggers simply took a quick screenshot, uploaded the image and used that, meaning that users were left looking at the picture of functionality without any of the benefits – they couldn’t follow, retweet, reply or favorite a thing.
According to the developer description, the new feature – called Web Intents – will “make it possible for users to interact with Twitter content in the context of your site, without leaving the page or having to authorize a new app just for the interaction.”
Twitter had previously offered a way to embed Tweets with a feature called Blackbird Pie, but the resulting embed was lifeless. Users couldn’t interact with it in any way. The new feature allows users to interact with the embedded Tweet as if they were on Twitter’s website itself, even offering a mini-profile feature, similar to the Hovercard.
Already, WordPress has offered an updated tool, writing that “Twitter Blackbird Pie Just Got Even Sweeter.” For WordPress users, the change will be immediate and automatic – all Tweets on WordPress.com blogs will display in the new format.
For the rest of us, however, there is a little simple hacking required, though the how-to is fully detailed. We’d be surprised if a tool for doing this quickly and easily weren’t out and free on the Web by the end of the day.
Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t go getting that screenshot while you’re at it. The new feature works by referring to the Tweet by ID, which means that if the original poster deletes that Tweet, your embed will have nothing to show.
Update: A Twitter spokesperson offered a clarification on this story, saying that “we have not released a way to embed Tweets on websites. We released a new API (Web Intents) that makes it possible to add interactive Reply, Retweet, and Favorite links to tools and widgets that display Tweets on the web. The first partner that implemented the API was WordPress with their Tweet Embed/Quote tool.”