During his keynote at SXSW this afternoon (live blog here), Twitter CEO Evan Williams just announced a new “At Anywhere” platform, which allows websites to more deeply integrate the service into their sites. The idea is to offer a more seamless experience to Twitter users navigating third party sites like the Huffington Post and the New York Times, giving them Twitter content without forcing them to jump off the page they’re currently viewing. The details on the new platform are still scant, but this is Twitter’s answer to Facebook Connect, which we reported on back in January.
Among the features:
- When you browse a site that uses @anywhere, people and brands that have Twitter accounts will be highlighted with a hyperlink. Mousing over that hyperlink will show a small box (a “hovercard”) containing their Twitter information, including their most recent tweet (in effect it means you don’t have to click over to Twitter’s homepage to see their Twitter profile)
- Publishers will be able to more deeply integrate their own Twitter profiles, making them easier for their readers to ‘follow’ them
- The new platform is launching with a number of major sites and services, including the New York Times, Huffington Post, Meebo, Amazon, Yahoo, Bing, and eBay.
From the Twitter blog:
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.