Skip to main content

Twitter integrates direct app links in tweets

Twitter is taking a page from Facebook and integrating direct links to app downloads into tweets.

Going forward, a tweet that includes a photo from Path, for example, might include a link to the Path app in the App Store or Google Play for those who do not already have Path installed.

The move is part of an update to Twitter Cards, which allows for content to show up directly within a tweet. Add a link from Pinterest, for example, and the highlighted photo will show up in the expanded tweet; no need to leave Twitter to see it.

The ability to add app download links closes the gap between content creation, content discovery, and app downloads, Twitter's Jason Costa explained in a blog post.

The move is similar to Facebook's mobile app install system, which opened to all developers in October. Those who click on an ad for an app that is not already installed on their device are sent directly to the store to find it, in an effort to boost downloads from marketplaces like Google Play and Apple's App Store

Twitter, meanwhile, also introduced new types of Twitter Cards: App, Product, and Gallery. App lets developers display information like app name, icon, description, rating, and price within a tweet; Product allows the placement of a product image within a message; and Gallery provides a gallery of preview photos, instead of just one. When Twitter's expanded tweets debuted less than a year ago, it boasted just three card types — summary, photo, and player/video.

Companies that have signed on for the rebooted Twitter Cards include Etsy, Flickr, Foursquare, Jawbone, Path, Rovio's Angry Birds, SoundCloud, and Twitter's own Vine.

Instagram likely won't be one of those partners, following the company's decision to disable Twitter Card integration in early December. Chief Kevin Systrom said at the time that the move was made as an effort to redirect users to the original content (aka the upgraded Instagram Web experience).