Posts tagged with "twitter"

The Utility of Twitter Cards

The Audio Card is the latest entry in Twitter’s line-up of interactive cards. The feature was announced earlier this week by Twitter, with SoundCloud being the first partner:

The world’s most influential musicians and media producers already share unique audio content through Twitter every day. Today we’re introducing a new way for you to experience audio directly on Twitter.

With a single tap, the Twitter Audio Card lets you discover and listen to audio directly in your timeline on both iOS and Android devices. Throughout your listening experience, you can dock the Audio Card and keep listening as you continue to browse inside the Twitter app.

Musicians, podcasters, and other producers of audio content are on board with SoundCloud cards that can be played without leaving the Twitter app. In a separate blog post, Twitter also announced compatibility with iTunes Music:

Now, when you listen to music from select iTunes artists, it’ll only take a few taps to pre-order unreleased music and purchase your favorite songs directly from iTunes.

Foo Fighters are already using the Audio card to promote their new song, Something From Nothing.

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Twitter for Mac Updated with Image Features

Speaking of Twitter apps, Twitter today released an update to their official app for Mac that brings support for images in direct messages and tweets with multiple images (first rolled out on the iPhone in December and March, respectively).

Progress on Twitter for Mac has been slow, but I'm glad the app isn't completely abandoned. It would be nice to have all the recent features and design changes of the iOS app, though (particularly Cards and redesigned profiles).

Side note: you can use this Terminal command to enable circular avatars in the app.

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What Is a Card?

Khoi Vinh has a great introduction to software cards for presentation and rich content:

Even as the notion of cards as the next big software interaction paradigm continues to gain momentum, it hasn’t gotten much easier to explain to the uninitiated what, exactly, a card is. When asked this question, I find it hard not to ramble on at great length, and even harder to avoid using technical jargon, which usually produces diminishing returns in conversations with “normal people.”

Make sure to check out his Pinterest board for screenshots of card UIs and see what they actually look like.

While I don't rely on many card-based apps or web services, I do believe that Twitter cards are largely underrated and ignored by people who use third-party Twitter clients, which can't display cards.

In my limited experience, setting up a MailChimp card for our MacStories Weekly newsletter doubled our number of subscribers thanks to its design and ease of use. With Twitter Cards, the link I shared appeared as a card inside Twitter timelines with an interactive signup form to subscribe with one click.

That's a powerful idea, potentially applicable to hundreds of web services and publishers that are sharing content on Twitter. I'm definitely planning to explore cards more for MacStories.

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On Twitter’s Future and Apps

Dan Frommer on Twitter's recent experiments with its timeline and mobile apps:

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo promised many product “experiments” on the company’s most recent earnings call, and the company has started to deliver: Many users are starting to notice tweets that don’t normally belong in their feeds. This is a significant shift in how Twitter works—and how it might work in the future.

I use Tweetbot on my iPhone and iPad, but, every couple of weeks, I try the official Twitter app for a day or two to see how things are going there.

I think Twitter for iOS is pretty good. I despise its notification settings and full-screen web view, but I actually like many of their experiments – including these recent ones – and I appreciate the inclusion of a Discover section, DM read status synced across devices, and Twitter Cards.

But I can't use Twitter for iOS as my primary client.

Over the years, I've grown so used to timeline streaming and sync that I can no longer use a Twitter app that doesn't stream and automatically sync my timeline position. I understand that this is not how the majority of people on Twitter actually use the service, or how Twitter wants to appeal to new audiences. My problem is that I enjoy and depend upon finesse and little touches created by third-party developers – the same ones who can't access many of the company's latest experiments with timelines and interactivity.

I'm torn between two interests: I want to try Twitter's new features for the masses because I think they're interesting and smart, but I can't change the fact that I want my timeline to stream and my position to sync. Even if Tweetbot for iPad hasn't been updated for iOS 7 yet, the way it works and syncs is enough for me. I don't even cringe at its outdated UI anymore. Not to mention many of the other excellent details of Tweetbot 3.

Would I switch to a version of Twitter's iOS apps with streaming and sync? I don't know. The third-party Twitter client is starting to feel like a relic of an old era, and while there's a part of me that wants to hold on to it, the future of the service appeals to my curiosity.


Tweetbot for Mac Updated with Support for Multiple Twitter Images

Following an update released on iOS last month, Tweetbot for Mac has been updated to version 1.6 today, adding support for multiple images shared through Twitter's sharing service. The update also includes a "Play" button for Instagram thumbnails and various bug fixes.

Support for multiple Twitter images mirrors the implementation of the iPhone app, with inline previews for tweets that contain multiple photos and the ability to share multiple images at once by attaching them (up to four) to the compose box. Tweets with multiple images show a carousel in their detail views, and, on OS X, you can click on the image indicators to move across pictures manually. Both on iOS and OS X, Tweetbot still doesn't support Twitter's animated GIFs, introduced by the company in June.

Tweetbot for Mac 1.6 is available on the Mac App Store.


Twitter Adds Support for Animated GIFs on Web, Android, and iPhone

Finally.

Animated GIFs will be shared with the same pic.twitter.com links the service uses for its native image uploads, and they will be animated inline.

Right now, clicking a pic.twitter.com GIF link in Tweetbot doesn't open the GIF but redirects to the same tweet. It's not clear at this point whether GIFs are supported in the Twitter API and if third-party developers will be able to display animated GIFs in their Twitter clients soon. Read more

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