Twitter meshes into websites with @Anywhere

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The Independent Tech

Twitter on Monday began letting its hot microblogging service be integrated into websites such as YouTube and Microsoft's Bing with a new "@Anywhere" feature.

"This is not an ad platform, it is an 'at' platform," Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said while announcing @Anywhere during an on-stage chat at a South By South West Interactive gathering here.

"It should result in more followers for a site and more fans talking on Twitter," Williams said.

The feature lets websites have Twitter dialogue boxes pop-up on-screen so visitors can fire off or read messages without having to go to the microblogging service's website.

@Anywhere also allows for names on Web pages to be highlighted and used to link to an individual's Twitter stream.

Bing, YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! were among the major Web properties that integrated Twitter in time for the @Anywhere launch, according to Twitter.

"We're excited to support @Anywhere, allowing our users to authorize Twitter data sharing with their Yahoo! ID in a way that empowers them to consume their Twitter feeds on Yahoo! and to share Yahoo! content to Twitter," Yahoo! executive Cody Simms said in a release.

@Anywhere is free for publishers interested in weaving Twitter into their websites, according to the San Francisco-based firm.

"Hopefully, they will embrace the new platform and see it as a way to integrate Twitter and disseminate what is good," Williams said of online news services and other websites that thrive on providing fresh information.

"If they are breaking news it is going to spread faster on Twitter and they are adding value."

Twitter has become an Internet Age superstar since it was created in 2006 as a way for people to share their thoughts, obersvations and activities in the form of mobile phone text messages of no more than 140 characters.

While Twitter has yet to disclose how it is going to make money, Williams repeated that the company's energy now is focused on making the service more valuable by "expanding the Twitter ecosystem" to more users.

Forrester Research social media analyst Augie Ray said @Anywhere "will further cement Twitter's place as the place where information is shared and discovered in real time."

"The name they've chosen is an obvious sign of what Twitter has in mind: They intend to be anywhere you are," Ray said.

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