Adding Twitter cards to our university news
Writing about the different ways that we promote videos on Twitter earlier this week got me thinking about Twitter Cards (although I didn’t realise that’s what they were at the time).
These are the snippets of content that are often added automatically to a tweet when it links to a webpage. You see them a lot, here’s an example below where our link to Mike Richwalsky’s website has been replaced by a thumbnail image, title and summary of the content that follows the link:
— UnisAndTheWeb (@unisandtheweb) January 13, 2016
It’s pretty simple to implement this on your website. Twitter have a developer’s guide with code examples that anyone can follow. The news templates on our cms don’t have the relevant metadata fields, but as a proof of concept I was able to add them to individual news stories manually. Long-term you’d want them available on a template basis for efficiency and consistency.
There are several variations of Twitter Cards, including embedding video and larger images, but I like the simplicity of the thumbnail and summary. The code above, when added to a basic news page, meant that a link to that page in a Tweet now carries a ‘summary’ Twitter Card in place of the link:
— artsatbham (@artsatbham) July 28, 2016
As content creators, this means that we can imagery, attribution and summaries that will result in more users following links through to our content.