Updating Your Blog’s Twitter Integration with Web Intents

As a developer I like to spend time experimenting with other systems and their APIs (Application Programming Interface) to see what I can come up with.

Of course, the more popular the system the more I’m compelled to share my thoughts and experience with you guys. One of the not-so-recent updates (in March, but with how fast technology is these days a few months is a “long time”) was with Twitter and their new Web Intents system that boasted the ability to add even more functionality to websites and blogs.

I’ve been so busy that I’ve been unable to actually dive in – but last night I had a few moments of downtime to explore it a bit and so far I’m liking what I see! What is it exactly?

Web Intents provide popup-optimized flows for working with Tweets & Twitter Users: Tweet, Reply, Retweet, Favorite, and Follow.

They make it possible for users to interact with Twitter content in the context of your site, without leaving the page or having to authorize a new app just for the interaction.

Web intents are mobile friendly, and super easy to implement.

Sounds good to me, right? You can do some pretty insane stuff and add some very in-depth functionality to your blog if you’d like – just spend some time in their documentation and you’ll find all that you need!

But here’s one very simple implementation that you can try today to get started:

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to have a new user who visited your blog follow you or even begin to engage with you via Twitter without ever having to leave your blog?

I’ve done just that by updating my Twitter button link in the top of my blog slightly – go ahead and click it to try!

Yeah, click that Twitter button...!

Instead of shooting you to Twitter and breaking the core blog experience by jumping to a new page you’ll instead see the popup in the first image above.

Neat, right?

It was quite simple to do – just make sure that you have this js file in your site (in your header perhaps):


And then just change your Twitter link to the following:


Of course, you change out the TENTBLOGGER to your username. You can, of course, use the “img” tag instead if you’re using some sort of iconography.

Sidenote: If you’re using Standard Theme then you already will have Twitter’s js in your system so you don’t have to add it again.

Let me know your thoughts! There’s a lot available with Twitter’s Web Intents system so you could go wild with it – but start simple why don’t you?