Twitter - @anywhere platform for websites

Joel originally posted this over on his site:

Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter, announced during his Keynote Interview today at South By Southwest Interactive, that Twitter is rolling out their new @anywhere platform.

It integrates Twitter accounts into your website. When users click a link, they can follow your writer, see her latest tweet, etc on your site. This information is provided by small modal overlay popups. This is an obvious value-add for content/media websites. Twitter is launching with 10,000 sites including NY TimesHuffington Post

From the Twitter blog:

When we designed Twitter, we took a different approach—we didn’t require a relationship model like that of a social network. Keeping things open meant you could browse our site to read tweets from friends, celebrities, companies, media outlets, fictional characters, and more. You could follow any account and be followed by any account. As a result, companies started interacting with customers, celebrities connected with fans, governments became more transparent, and people started discovering and sharing information in a new, participatory manner.

We’ve developed a new set of frameworks for adding this Twitter experience anywhere on the web. Soon, sites many of us visit every day will be able to recreate these open, engaging interactions providing a new layer of value for visitors without sending them to Twitter.com. Our open technology platform is well known and Twitter APIs are already widely implemented but this is a different approach because we’ve created something incredibly simple. Rather than implementing APIs, site owners need only drop in a few lines of javascript. This new set of frameworks is called @anywhere. Twitter will be part of our favorite sites!


When we're ready to launch, initial participating sites will include Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, and YouTube. Imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo! home page—and that’s just the beginning. Twitter has proven to be compelling in a variety of ways. With @anywhere, web site owners and operators will be able to offer visitors more value with less heavy lifting.

Later in the interview, Evan was asked what he thought about his company, with regards for openness. Evan responded by saying that they had a lot of discussions at Twitter of whether to use the word 'open' or 'transparency'. His conclusion was that, "A window is transparent but a door is open." He said that they always try to proceed down the road of openness. We have of course seen this with how 3rd party developers are able to use the versatile Twitter API to use twitter in many ways, from 3rd party apps to social media mashups with other services, such as Foursquare or Gowalla.