Twitter Announces Release of its Official WordPress Plugin

Twitter announced the release of its official WordPress plugin, which brings various Twitter features and functionality together into one package for WordPress sites.

Included are Twitter Cards, Analytics, Embedded tweets and video, the tweet button, the follow button, Twitter advertising, and a base library.

“We created this plugin to serve the common needs of most modern publishers while allowing for extensibility and WordPress API integrations by other WordPress plugins or site-specific customizations,” says Twitter developer advocate Niall Kennedy. “All Twitter JavaScript is loaded through WordPress resource managers for optimized execution. Twitter Cards are customized by post format and post type. Sharing options are only presented for a public post status. The plugin is globally available in 28 languages. If you’re a PHP or WordPress developer interested in learning more,our full plugin code, including underlying PHP libraries, is available on GitHub under the MIT license.”

The company says the plugin will help sites grow their Twitter audiences.

For Cards, the plugin automatically generates them for your webpages to highlight content you’ve shared.

Cards must be enabled on your domain before they appear alongside a tweet. You can submit a URL to the Twitter Cards validator to request Twitter add the card type for your domain.

The Analytics part lets you track your site and author Twitter accounts.

With the plugin, you can customize your embeds.

“Since there is unique content every day on Twitter, our new plugin for WordPress makes it easy to include an embedded Tweet on your website that matches your site design,” explains Kennedy. “Choose a widget theme, link color and border color from your WordPress administrative dashboard to visually integrate Tweets into your webpages and articles. We’ve also included support for video embeds to highlight Twitter video content.”

In an FAQ document, it notes that if your custom link color and border don’t appear in embdedded tweets or timelines, your site may have a content security policy blocking Twitter’s JavaScript from inserting your custom styling. It’s also possible that you configured an embedded timeline widget with a non-default link color. The widget configuration overrides your page/theme configuration.

You can add the tweet button to posts from the admin interface, and the plugin automatically configures it to include “the URL of the post, site and author Twitter accounts, custom share text and hashtags specific to each post.”

The plugin also makes it easy to add a follow button to your theme’s widget area or alongside author info, according to the company.

For advertisers, Twitter says the plugin simplifies conversion tracking and tailored audience creation with a WordPress macro.

The plugin doesn’t add any additional tracking of your site’s visitors, according to the FAQ.

Developers can contribute to the plugin, submit pull requests, or run test suites through the GitHub repository. Documentation is available here.

By Chris Crum

Chris Crum is a staff writer and content coordinator for iEntry.

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