Twitter just launched its very first official WordPress plugin, which combines several features previously available through third party apps such as the ability to embed tweets, and the ability to embed videos uploaded directly to Twitter.
If you’re thinking “Wait, doesn’t WordPress already have the ability to embed tweets?” — Yes, you’re absolutely right. The difference with this plugin is that you can now embed them and customize them to blend in with the rest of your site’s theme.
Using WordPress’s native ability to embed tweets you’re stuck with the default color scheme. With this new plugin you can customize backgrounds and font colors however you wish. In addition, embedded Twitter cards now include link previews.
Another benefit of using the official plugin is that as soon as Twitter implements a new feature it can also be added to the plugin. For example, Twitter recently added the ability to upload videos directly to its network, and this new plugin already supports the ability to embed tweets with video.
To take advantage of new Twitter features on WordPress you used to have to wait for the next major update to the CMS. Now you’ll be able to, in theory, start using new Twitter features on WordPress a lot sooner.
In addition to what I mentioned above, here are the other features that are currently available with the plugin:
- Twitter Analytics: Track the popularity of your content as its shared across Twitter.
- Tweet Button: A button for sharing your site’s content, automatically configured to include the URL of the post, site and author Twitter accounts, custom share text and hashtags.
- Follow Button: A button for converting visitors into followers.
- Twitter Advertising: Track actions on your site that were triggered by a Twitter ad, or use WordPress macros to build a custom targeting audience
You can download the official Twitter plugin on WordPress.org, or through the plugins downloader in the WordPress back end.