Twitter #conversation

A comments platform powered by Twitter.

Twitter is everywhere on the web. Twitter cards and other features allow Tweets to get distributed off of Twitter’s properties into other websites, where they can be interacted-with. I propose that Twitter develop a simple comments platform, based on Twitter’s existing functionality, that could be integrated into any website desiring a comments feature.

Goals:

  • Engagement – this product would allow Twitter users to discover interesting conversations about content they are interested in (indeed – are in the process of consuming) while they are not on Twitter’s main feed. In addition, it would enable content providers to capture and display conversations happening on Twitter about their content on their own property (while still in a feed controlled by Twitter).
  • Acquisition – web users consuming content will be exposed to Twitter in a new channel and invited to participate in a novel way.
  • Revenue – this feature would provide more Tweet impressions and would also expose a new set of “timelines” with which to integrate native ads.

Functionality

  • List of Comments. User avatars and handles listed along with comments.
    • Comments will not be displayed chronologically.
    • They will be displayed by a custom ranking having to do with activity and influence, designed to surface the most interesting conversations going on about the content
  • Before a comment is made, the user is asked to sign in. If the user is signed in on the browser they will comment with that account
  • Before a comment is made, the user will have the option of replying to a user or not.
  • When a comment is made, it is published both as a Tweet (which goes into Twitter’s “main feed”) and as a Comment (which stays on the site).
  • When making a Comment, the user will not be restricted to any character limit (or the character limit will be longer than 140 characters, at some length appropriate to a comment). If the length of the comment/Tweet, with the appropriate handles, is longer than 140 characters, the Tweet version of the Comment will be automatically shortened and will include a link to the larger Comment
  • Tweets made outside Twitter #conversation that fit any of the following criteria will also be displayed in the comments section on the web property
    • include the link to the page, or
    • are a reply to
      • a Tweet with a link to the page, or
      • a Tweet originating from a Comment on that page
  • There are at least two and potentially three “views” to consider for this content:
    • In the comments section on the web property using Twitter #conversation
    • Twitter’s “main feed”
    • The “conversation” view for Tweets that are replies to each other
  • Ads could be displayed in the feed of Comments