In June 2013, Facebook made all heads turn and eyes pop out when it introduced its very own hashtags. While many perceived this move a direct onslaught on Twitter’s iconic territory, others saw it coming, plainly because it allowed Facebook users to curate and view content in a much better way. Nonetheless, the stage was primly set for the clash of social media titans and Twitter struck back, with Twitter cards.
So what really are Twitter cards? And what do they foretell for users and businesses?
All of us have felt that lingering mental block while writing a tweet because there is only so much one can express in 140 characters. And Twitpics and embedded video links never really seemed to pack a punch. This problem is even more profound for marketers and publishers who post dozens of tweets everyday that link back to the content on their websites. Therefore, Twitter cards!
Brands and publishers can now marry plain-text tweets triggered from their websites, with extensive media experiences. All it takes is adding a few lines of HTML code (Meta Tags) to a particular URL of the website, and a unique card will be generated for that page. Here’s a how to start using Twitter Cards.
Users can choose from 8 different types of Twitter Cards, and each has its own merits. While the Summary Card gives an overview of the content on your page, App installs and Deep-linking Card facilitates downloads from specific hyperlinks to your website, even as the Product Card lets you display product information briefly. And then there is a card for displaying large image summary, a photo, a gallery, an app and a media player, all in a way that’s tailor-made for every need. But the real ace in the hole is the Lead Generation Card, one of Twitter’s newest ad units, that lets publishers capture user information at a click of a button. You can take a look at the entire deck of cards here.
Backed by upgraded analytics, Twitter Cards are on their way to find a firm footing in the social media space. As the microblogging site constantly strives hard to let users deliver comprehensive content through tweet-sized stories, it is also opening up doors for marketers and advertisers to play the field. However, it remains to be seen if it’s enough to tip over the social media balance in Twitter’s favour.