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 You see them a lot, here’s an example below where our link to Mike Richwalsky’s website has been replaced by a thumbnail image, title and summary of the content that follows the link:

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.

An example of Twitter Card code

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:

As content creators, this means that we can imagery, attribution and summaries that will result in more users following links through to our content.

Billy

Billy

Web Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

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