Twitter has quietly launched new markup documentation for twitter cards…
And brands should take note. Why? Let’s start at the top –
What are Twitter cards?
Twitter cards are a fairly recent addition to the Twitter suite of tools that allow richest media content (images, videos, and blog post previews – or ‘photo’, ‘player’, and ‘summary’ respectively) to be displayed in-stream. Launched last year with a few partners such as The New York Times and WWE, these expanded Tweets are another way for publishers to engage with Twitters in a more meaningful way.
Since June last year, Twitter has slowly released this functionality both as new partnerships with other media houses; and as developer documentation for others to add to their own websites and blogs.
Why are they useful?
It’s simple: Twitter cards enable a preview (or in some cases a full view) of the content linked to in the Tweet. This means users of the official Twitter client can consume content without leaving the app and, if they do have to click out, they have a better understanding of what they’re about to engage with.
So what’s new?
Overnight, Twitter launched three more variations of the Twitter card on top of their ex: App, Gallery, and Product.
The first two work as follows –
This one shows information about an app; including the app name, icon, description and other details such as the rating or price. If your app is in the AppleApp Store or Google Play, then the corresponding information there can be pulled in accordingly.
Result? More app downloads, hurrah!
This new card represents an album or a collection of photographs via a preview of the photo gallery. This card indicates to a Twitter user that a gallery has been shared, as opposed to just one individual photo.
Result? More imagery = more engaging = increased CTR.
That’s all well and good, but it’s this next third one that I find most interesting:
The Twitter product card can represent different products by showing an image and description, along with up to two customisable fields that let you display more details like price or ratings.
On both web and mobile, it would look something like this –
Result? MORE. SALES. It’s that simple.
In short: this is fantastic.
This basically says that brands can now, with a simple piece of html markup, preview actual products, for purchase, including reviews and/or pricing information into their followers’ Twitter streams. Combine that with some decent tracking and you finally have what looks like a decent social sales ecosystem.
Think about that for a second; instead of ‘Hey! Look at this thing we’ve launched! [link]’, you now get ‘Hey! Look at this thing we’ve launched [image] + [price]’.
We’re already talking to our clients about getting this markup integrated into their websites’ product pages, and we’ve got a funny feeling a few of you might be too.
Exciting times indeed.