Twitter announced today that it will partner with a variety of online media companies to provide an enhanced version of “expanded Tweets,” which allow users to preview stories and videos linked to in Tweets without ever leaving Twitter’s site. The new features comes as the company embraces its role in delivering online media and blurs the line between content provider and producer.
While Twitter already provides users with the option to expand a Tweet to view replies, re-Tweets or favorites, the new expanded Tweets will provide an actual preview of the content being Tweeted from select media partners. Media partners whose content will display in the expanded Tweets include The Wall Street Journal, Time, MSNBC, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Der Spiegel Online, BuzzFeed and TMZ, among many others.
The new expanded Tweets will begin appearing on Twitter.com and Twitter’s mobile site on Wednesday, and will expand to Twitter for Android and iPhone apps soon.
While Twitter’s CEO has often said that the company is not a media company, GigaOM recently explored Twitter’s evolving role in content curation and production. Twitter’s partnership with NASCAR and hiring of an editor to curate NASCAR Tweets showed how the company is increasingly toeing the line between media production and media platform. And during the NBA finals, it encouraged fans to follow specific Twitter users, and used the basketball game to promote their specific Twitter users’ content.