140 Characters & More: Twitter Announces Expanded Tweets

Ever wish that you could preview more content, video, and images in others’ tweets before following their links to the full thing? Well, you’ve got your wish. Sort of. In a move widely seen to be a push for Twitter users to stay on the Twitter website longer, the microblogging company announced on their blog today the introduction of expanded tweets.

Certain media entities’ Twitter accounts will be able to use the expanded tweet feature to hopefully entice users to follow their tweeted links. Some of the publishing companies partnered with Twitter right off the bat for the new feature include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time, whose expanded tweets could let users, “see a preview with the headline, the introduction and sometimes the Twitter accounts of the publisher and writer. You can continue to read the article, follow these accounts, and reply, favorite or retweet the Tweet.“

Other companies ready with the feature? Twitter says that the WWE, BuzzFeed, and TMZ will be able to tweet out exclusive photos to lure users in. On the video side, partners like BET, Lifetime, and Dailymotion will probably use expanded tweets to show video. Strangely, the Twitter blog chooses to include a screen grab of Chris Brown from BET’s “106 & Park” to promote that idea.

Overall, while the move may be a positive strategic step for Twitter, it remains to be seen whether the move is as beneficial for the partners that sign up for it. Twitter users will get more content from the site, but will they also be less likely to leave the site? Once they’ve been given a good preview, will they really want more, or will they—as Twitter is hoping—stay on the microblogging site longer to consume more media in the form of expanded tweets? The move is sure to make Twitter more of a target destination for multimedia content, but are they purely winning out on others’ content?

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