Twitter may have been designed for short burst messaging, but it’s grown into a graceful data flow of text, photos, and videos. Using text speak (FTW!), hashtags and “@” symbols, we’ve learned to communicate a lot with just a few characters. Still, we could all use a little more space to make our point, so Twitter is giving it to us.
No, they’re not dialing up the character count. They’re giving us more cards to play with.
Cards are those expanded Tweets that show up in your stream bearing gifts such as photos and video. There’s one, right there! He showed up just in time.
That’s the mobile view of a Tweet with an embedded YouTube video. Just click and you don’t have to leave Twitter to see what Brendan’s selling.
Twitter has just added three new types of cards:
Gallery: Represent an album or collection of photographs via a preview of the photo gallery. This card indicates to a user that a gallery has been shared, rather than just one individual photo.
This is an upgrade from their standard photo card. The main space shows a grid of four photo thumbnails and it sure beats sending out 20 Tweets in a row with your vacation photos.
App: Show information about your app, including app name, icon, description and other details like rating or price. Just give us your ID and we will display information about your app from the App Store or Google Play.
This is major. Your customer already has their phone in their hands, so it’s the perfect suggestive sell. “Get the App” – one click straight from the Twitter feed and they’re off to the app store.
Right now, this is only available for iOS and Android mobile devices and Twitter must approve the card before it goes live. (Most cards auto-approve). Once this gets going, it could be a real deal sealer for many app developers.
Product: Represent products by showing an image and description, along with up to two customizable fields that let you display more details like price or ratings.
This card highlights a single product in your line. The open data fields gives you a lot of leeway to make your point. Here’s an example:
There is so much information packed on to this card and yet it’s clear and enticing. I want to click through and learn more.
Right now, Twitter is also requiring pre-approval on Product Cards — which I imagine they’re doing to prevent companies from spamming the system with 100 product cards an hour.
From a user standpoint, Twitter cards are a clean way of seeing more information without having to constantly move in and out of the app. I think these additions are great for both the consumer and the marketer.
Good job, Twitter.