Looking for a way to find cool new apps? You might not have previously thought to check Twitter, but now your Twitter stream could start to look more like an avenue for app discovery.
Twitter announced updates to its Twitter Cards at a developer event in San Francisco on Tuesday, and the most interesting news is that tweets will now allow for third-party developers to include download links within those tweets, turning Twitter into more of an app discovery platform and showing users where content is coming from.
So for instance, if your friend posts a photo to the social network Path and cross-posts that photo to Twitter, and if you don’t already have Path installed, you’ll see a link where you can go download Path. And if you do have Path installed, the link can serve as a deep link that will allow you to head directly to the content in that app.
It might seem slightly counterintuitive for Twitter — why would the company want to send you elsewhere? But clearly Twitter has realized that people respond positively to visual, richer content within tweets, like the short basketball clips embedded in March Madness tweets. So if Twitter becomes a more interesting place, that’s obviously a win for the company.
Mike Isaac wrote for AllThingsD last week that the developer event would revolve around cards, and explained why the cards matter so much for the future of Twitter’s business. Facebook has built up its third-party developer community in recent years, and while Twitter struggled to work with developers last summer over API guidelines, this could be a new way for the company to build a more positive ecosystem around its product.
The updates to Cards also come with some changes to the types of content that can be tweeted out, including app descriptions, product details, and galleries, to show that more than one photo is being shared. The blog post from Twitter explained:
“We first introduced expanded Tweets with three card types: summary, photo and player/video. Since then, we’ve heard that publishers want to be able to share different types of content. With these new card types, more publishers can show more types of content on Twitter.
Finally, with this update to Cards, we’ve fundamentally re-architected the way Cards are created and delivered. The new Cards system lays a foundation that will make it easier for us to develop more types of Cards in the future and allow for greater customization by publishers and developers. Additionally, this new system is backward compatible; if you’ve already implemented Cards, your integrations will continue to work seamlessly.”
Twitter announced that its first partners for this roll-out include Delectable, Etsy, Flickr, Foursquare, Gumroad, Jawbone, Path, Rovio’s Angry Birds, SoundCloud, Storenvy, Wine Library and Vine.