Twitter has rolled out a new feature that allows users to tweet highlighted quotes from a story, instead of just the headline. The social media site has dubbed this feature “editorialized tweets,” and it will significantly change the way people share content on the platform.
Editorialized tweets allow publishers to suggest highlighted text in the story. Users can then easily tweet out those suggested quotes, rather than having to copy and paste interesting sections of the story into their tweets or relying on the headline. The idea behind this initiative is that sometimes an interesting part in the story will stand out to readers more than the headline. Twitter hopes that this new feature will encourage more sharing.
It appears the initiative is already working. The New York Times recently tested out the feature on one of its articles, and it was shared approximately 11 times more than the most popular Times stories in the past month, according to Mashable.
Content marketers, journalists and other professional writers have always known that in order attract readers’ attention on the web, you need a great headline. Readers see the headline of the story first, making it an essential part in making a great first impression. This new Twitter initiative expands on this idea. While headlines are still important, some readers may not find them to be the most engaging part of a story. Editorialized tweets allow content marketers to choose sections of their stories that they believe may resonate with their readers. However, they also let the readers ultimately decide what they want to tweet.
New York Times reporter David Itzkoff recently spoke with Poynter and shared some insight about how to choose which sections of text to highlight. He explained that he used a little guesswork to choose sections that users would gravitate to. In addition, he looked for sections that would “make the best traveling billboards for the overall story.”
As Twitter rolls out this new feature and makes it available to more publishers, content marketers should jump on board. Editorialized tweets give you the unique opportunity to pick and choose which sections of your story readers will share in order to maximize your social media sharing. In addition, this new concept helps increase reader engagement in your articles. Choosing a section of the story to tweet gives readers a feeling of ownership in the story. This will make them feel connected to the story, which can help boost the original content.
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