TMCnet Feature
July 03, 2013

Twitter Shows Off 'Embedded on These Sites' Function

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

Twitter has a bit of a long history of rolling out new features in a rather quiet way. While Facebook (News - Alert) holds press conferences in order to announce things like Instagram getting a video feature, Twitter (News - Alert) tends to like to allow its users to find out the new features that are being offered all on their own. While this lack of pomp and circumstance is actually appreciated, it also makes it hard to tell whether the brief appearance and then disappearance of a potential new feature was intentional.

Such is the case with a mysterious little add-on that a few Twitter users noticed on their accounts yesterday.

The service looks to be testing a new feature that will actually show Twitter users where their tweets have been embedded. The “Embedded on these websites” function appeared for some users (but not all) and then apparently went away for a while in the afternoon. One Twitter user who spotted the change, security expert Mikko Hypponen brought up the issue and got the ball rolling on people trying to decide whether Twitter made a slip up, or is in the process of unveiling a new feature.

"Has Twitter always shown where particular tweets are embedded on?" Hypponen tweeted while also showing off a screenshot of the new feature. Later in the day, several tech websites also noticed the feature. Twitter has not actually commented on the new function, which is why at this point it is still a mystery. The company’s CEO Dick Costolo (News - Alert) did talk recently about making it easier for users to cut through the notice of Twitter events. In particular, Costolo said he would like to see a tool that would allow people to keep up with the important moments in a Twitter discussion.

While the function that was briefly displayed on Tuesday does not do that by itself, its conceivable that it could be used as a gateway to a bigger feature rollout that would do what Costello described.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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