Published On: Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

Twitter tests connection between tweets and news

The information network experiments with a tweet additive that highlights media articles that contain embedded tweets.

Twitter is trying out a tweet-enhancing feature that connects 140-character messages to longer form stories mentioning them in an apparent effort to add context to real-time bursts of information.

Sunday, Twitter user Mikko Hypponen noticed that one of his tweets included a list of media sites where the tweet was embedded. The feature, entitled “embedded on these websites,” lists the websites’ names, includes article headlines, and links through to destination URLs, based on the screenshot shared by Hypponen.

Twitter tests connection between tweets and news

Twitter declined to comment on the tweet addition, and the feature seems to be only available in limited release. In May, Twitter disclosed that it often tests variations of the tweet form factor to gauge users’ preferences around supplemental tweet details.

“A Tweet may be our basic unit of communication, but it also contains a universe,” Twitter Director Othman Laraki said at the time.

Articles with embedded tweets certainly qualify as part of a tweet’s universe. Should Twitter roll out the feature more widely, it could become a valuable tool that helps users track down and make sense of news related to breaking news or celebrity outbursts.

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Bob is the author and creator of the Daily Technology Column in TechLone - Technology News, Views & Reviews, which has appeared since January, 2013.