Twitter widgets have been commonplace on many blogs for a long time, and pulling in the Tweets from the blog’s authors seems to have been a fairly rudimentary method of saturating personal representation.
The new interactive time lines are an improvement on the old widgets in that they allow readers of the site to interact in a debate or conversation without leaving the web page.
Website owners are also free to add interactive timelines about anything they like, whether it be an event of their own, one of national significance or an emerging trend they happen to be reporting on.
Adding an interactive timeline is a really easy process; users can search for a conversation via keywords, Twitter’s infamous #tag or via Twitter handles (@example). Twitter then offers an embed code which can be easily embedded in websites and blogs.
Tweets are expandable within the interactive timelines so users can see images, links and any other media added.
Twitter announced the launch of their new tool on Wednesday 5th September with examples of big websites already using the new technology. The three examples included:
But by Friday the 7th, the whole web was abuzz with blog posts describing the new widget, many of them using an embedded example of their own. This resulted in widespread breakdown of the new tool and all three of the giant websites above lost their interactive feeds, as did the many blogs reporting on the tool.
Twitter’s own discussion page for developers features a thread revealing the extent of the problem. Twitter seems to have picked up the pieces of their interactive timeline over the weekend and all sites featuring an interactive timeline are back in operation.
Below is an example of an interactive timeline we have constructed using the #B3Seminar hashtag from our seminar on the 5th September – feel free to read through the tweets and pitch in with your own comments!