twitter

Twitter highlights websites that embed tweets

Twitter is rolling out a new display feature that highlights websites that have embedded tweets.

Quick revision here, if you’ve never embedded a tweet before it’s really simple. Just head to Twitter.com, find the tweet you want to embed, click “…more” at the end there and select “Embed Tweet” to get the code:

Now once you’ve done that, whenever people view the Tweet that you’ve embedded in their Twitter feed they’re going to start seeing this:

Why do I like this? Firstly because I hope this will encourage people to actually start using the proper “Embed Tweet” feature rather than screengrabbing a Tweet to appear in their articles. This is better for download speeds, rendering on mobile and is just the right way to do it. Then secondly, and more importantly, it’s going to help give kudos to certain Tweets as the more trusted and relevant sites are that have embedded it, the more likely you will be to read it.

This is rolling out now, so you may not see it right away but start thinking about how you can use this feature to you and your customer’s benefit.

Oh and as a test, here’s an embedded Tweet about this article about embedding Tweets that links to this article about embedding Tweets (makes me want to watch ‘Inception’…).

‘Hey someone is making up shocking posts…’ Twitter spam

If you receive a Direct Message on Twitter saying “hey someone is making up shocking posts that are about you…” (or similar) it’s SPAM and you shouldn’t click on the link.

It looks like this, I’ve received 2 instances from seperate accounts in the last 12 hours:

On both occasions the message was sent as a Direct Message not a @mention and the link is a bit.ly style link that doesn’t reveal its source until clicked.

The best course of action, as is always the case if you’re not sure, is to DELETE the DM and politely inform the holder of the account that they should update their password.

UPDATE: It appears once the account has been compromised the bot sends out tweets from it like this:

Best course of action in this case is simply to ignore that Tweet.

Find available screen names and how to update your twitter username

Sometimes you just need to change your online identity. Maybe you’ve recently changed your real name, or you’re being hounded by spam, or perhaps you’re just after fresh start. Whatever the reason, here are 3 tips for how to find that perfect new handle:

1) Twitter > Edit your account

Twitter allows you to check availability of a username in your account settings on its own website.

Click to your profile page, click the “Edit your profile” button then the “Account” link from the left and you’ll see the “Username” box above. Here you can type in new usernames and Twitter will instantly tell you if it’s available.

2) Name generator sites

Stuck for what to call yourself though? No problem – name generator sites can help. SpinXO (pictured left) is one of the best that I’ve found as it allows you to type in your interests, keywords and “must have” words and then generates options based on that.

You can then click on the name(s) that interest you and check their availability.

3) Name checker websites

But what happens if you’re after the same username that you can use across multiple sites? It can be cumbersome to go to each social media site individually and check using their own tools.

A better way is to use a site like namechk.com or checkusernames.com which let you type in your username and search availability across every social media site you can think of in one go.

Good luck with updating your identity online, let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own.

Twitter adds real-time URL shortening to twitter.com

Regular users of twitter will be pleased to hear there is no need to paste a link into bit.ly, tinyurl or whatever your preferred URL shortener is anymore now that twitter have added similar functionality to their own website.

Here’s how it works. Typing a tweet via twitter.com is exactly the same, however when you add a URL twitter does a few new things. Firstly the URL is highlighted and a new “Link will appear shortened” message appears next to the tweet button. Then twitter recalculates the number of characters you have remaining after the tweet will be shortened on the fly. Here’s an example:

See how I’ve posted a long link into the tweet and added copy before and after it. The total length in characters of that tweet would have been 255 but Twitter has calculated how short the URL will be once shortened and allows you to write additional copy until the newly calculated character count reaches 0.

This is how the tweet looks when posted:

A useful addition to the website. Now I wonder when image uploads will be included so we can take twitpic.com out of our bookmarks…

Paper Giants is a giant hit (on twitter that is)

Thoroughly enjoyed the ABC miniseries ‘Paper Giants’ this week. Asher Keddie (previously from Offspring and Love My Way fame) was excellent as Ita Buttrose, I think it was her scarily accurate lisp that got a lot of people hooked early on.

Not only was the show an apparent success on TV but it’s been huge online in terms of generating discussion and social chatter as well.

Top trending topics in Australia for the last 2 days have included:

Asher Keddie is also receiving a big increase in search volume according to Google trends:

And the other winner in all this appears to be ABC’s iView which is also starting to trend the morning after when customers hearing their friends talking about the show are looking for a way to watch it. All of the recommendations to “check it out on iView” have pushed that keyword into Australia’s top 10 TT’s. Some good ‘free’ publicity for the ABC’s website and app.

(Image courtesy of smh.com.au)

Trending topics spamming techniques – beware the fake tweet

After watching the ABC’s QANDA last night it was good to see the phrase “Julian Morrow” trending in Australia, he was a great panelist after all. Like many others in the country I do enjoy watching TV shows like QANDA or Masterchef whilst following what others are saying on Twitter at the same time.

However waking up this morning and seeing “Julian Morrow” was still trending in AU made me suspicious. Digging into the tweets that were keeping his name there revealed a very annoying spam technique that is sadly gaining traction.

On the left is a screenshot of the last 8 tweets containing “Julian Morrow”. If you take a closer look you can see they are all based on the same formula in that they contain a) the trending topic, b) a compressed URL and c) a phrase inviting a click, such as: “OMG This is awesome…”, “This is really funny…” or “Wow! I’d purchase it..”.

What the compressed URL’s link to I cannot say – as a general rule I don’t click on them, worried about where I might end up. But these are spam tweets – posted by bots or spammers wanting you to click through on their URL to either generate another page impression on the destination site or to potentially direct you to a page that could do something much worse.

So as a word of warning, if a tweet is a) from an unknown source, b) contains a list of several trending topics in one place and c) has a phrase that looks like it was written by a 14 year old, the suggestion would be not to click on it. You never know where you might end up.

New twitter app gives easier access to trending topics, I mean ads

There’s a new version of the twitter app for iPhone in the iTunes store, this one features a few nice updates (like an improved posting pane) but the most noticeable change would have to be the strip across the top of the screen highlighting trending topics.

Before I continue, I should state that you can’t remove this strip, or if you can I can’t find out how to.

The strip cycles through the top trending topics which in itself is interesting, but this also means promoted (or paid) topics also appear.

I’m guessing this will increase accidental clickthroughs for advertisers as I find I’m clicking on the new strip occasionally as I move my thumb up to scroll to the top of the page.

One good UI feature though is that the strip does go when you scroll down the view giving more screen real estate for tweets rather than trending topics.