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Twitter makes a button

by Scott Bicheno on 12 August 2010, 18:05

Tags: Twitter

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We’ll take it from here, thanks

One of the keys to making social networking work is single-action, impulsive behaviour. We want to be able to cast judgement on a piece of content and/or share it, but only if it requires almost no effort, and Facebook has been quick to realise this with its ‘like' buttons.

Now Twitter has followed suit. Having seen how popular the ‘retweet' button from TweetMeme is, Twitter itself has announced the launch of its own Tweet Button. It's pretty simple: embed the button on your website and it makes it easier for people to tweet links to your content. For a more detailed explanation, see the video below.

This seems pretty harsh on TweetMeme, but Twitter begs to differ. "You may have seen similar buttons on blogs, news sites and other places that let you share content on Twitter," said the Twitter blog post. "These have been created by third parties. Most notably, a company called TweetMeme created a popular ‘retweet button' for publishers.

"We're pleased to be working closely with the good folks at TweetMeme and, from here on out, they will be pointing to the Twitter Tweet Button. Check out TweetMeme's blog to learn more about what they're up to next."

The TweetMeme blog revealed the button now gets used over 750 million times per day, so we imagine TweetMeme must have been reluctant to just stand aside and let Twitter appropriate all this activity.

"Firstly we will be assisting Twitter with the technical challenges involved with the button and secondly we will be working even more closely in the future on delivering real-time curation of the Twitter Firehose," said TweetMeme CEO Nick Halstead in the blog.

"This will manifest itself in the launch of a number of new products and the first of these is being unveiled today." That product is DataSift, which "gives developers the ability to leverage cloud computing to build very precise streams of data from the millions and millions of tweets sent every day."

So TweetMeme seems to have been gently shoved aside, presumably with some sort of compensation from Twitter. Speaking to TechCrunch, Halstead revealed the button itself isn't a source of revenue for his company, rather the data derived from it, which he will still have access to.

We decided to give the button a go. It's on the right of this page if you fancy a bit of Twitter fun.


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