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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 29, 2013

Twitter tests selected in-text auto-Tweets with New York Times

Hot on the heels of Twitter's announcement of Related Headlines, a feature that automatically lists relevant stories alongside Tweets, comes the microblogging platform's experiment with highlighted Tweet text.

by Helen Leggatt

Twitter's current system formats links to articles with the headline as the Tweet content. However, if a new experiment being carried out with the New York Times is successful, Twitter users could soon be able to select Tweetable text direct from an article, instead of the headline.

To see, and take part in, the experiment, head on over to the article "The God of 'SNL' Will See You Now". Notice the highlighted areas of text with the Twitter bird icon? Clicking on these highlighted areas allows a reader to instantly Tweet that section of text via the usual automated pop-up box.

Readers aren't left to decide which text is directly Tweetable. Instead, as the writer of the SNL article, Dave Itzkoff, told Poynter, it requires the author to select what they believe would best represent the article. Itzkoff explained that it was "just a bit of guesswork" and that he was trying to establish what would engage readers and, at the same time, "make the best travelling billboards for the overall story".

The New York Times has reported seeing an eleven-fold rise in the number of Tweets for the article, although whether this is more to do with people checking out the new Twitter feature is yet to be seen.

Tags: media, microblogging, social media, social sharing, Twitter

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