Introducing Web Intents

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Brian Ellin

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Mar 30, 2011, 5:04:44 PM3/30/11
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Developers, users, and journalists are finding more creative ways to use Tweets on the web to leverage the power of the network to spread news.  In the past it’s been difficult to make these Tweets interactive, requiring you to write an OAuth app simply to attach Reply, Retweet, and Favorite actions to Tweets.

Today we’re releasing a simple new addition to the API called Web Intents that makes it possible to make Tweets that you display on the web interactive.  Web Intents provide popup optimized flows for all the ways you interact with Tweets and users on Twitter: Tweet, Reply, Retweet, Favorite, and Follow.  The new tool makes 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.  Web intents are mobile friendly and easy to implement.

For example, here’s how you add Reply, Retweet, and Favorite links to a specific Tweet:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script>
<p><a href="http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?in_reply_to=51113028241989632">Reply</a></p>
<p><a href="http://twitter.com/intent/retweet?tweet_id=51113028241989632">Retweet</a></p>
<p><a href="http://twitter.com/intent/favorite?tweet_id=51113028241989632">Favorite</a></p>

Detailed documentation is available at http://dev.twitter.com/pages/intents

To see Web Intents in action check out Wordpress.com’s great tool for quoting Tweets in blog posts: Twitter Blackbird Pie.  Here's a post that uses their tool to quote @jack's Tweets about our 5 year anniversary.  We’ve also added these standard Tweet actions to our timeline widgets that are used all over the web.

We’ve also updated the display guidelines with some suggestions on how to make your Tweets actionable, and made the standard Reply, Retweet and Favorite icons available for download.

Cheers,

Brian Ellin
Product Manager, Platform
http://twitter.com/brianellin
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