Twitter has expanded the integration of third-party services on its website, adding five new photo and video sharing services to the growing list of what shows up as an inline preview.
Among the new services to secure a spot in the ever-expanding Twitterverse is Instagram, the current darling of the Twitter hipsters. The photo-sharing service has managed to build an impressive following even though it’s currently only available as an iOS app. The majority of Instagram fans use Twitter to post links to their artsy photos.
The new inline preview feature, introduced in September’s make-over, shows a preview of an image or a video in the right-hand pane whenever somebody tweets a link to a supported video or photo site. At launch, that was Flickr, Vimeo, TwitPic and YouTube. Along with the inline previews, you also see associated conversations, recent tweets and mini bios of the people mentioned in the tweet. It’s a feature we really like — it takes Twitter beyond the 140 character limit to include photos, videos, maps and all sorts of other rich media.
While we’re happy to see Twitter integrating with more web services, the new web-based preview features highlight just how far behind the website the company’s official mobile apps have fallen. Neither the official Android client nor the iOS Twitter clients support any of the inline previews you’ll find on the web. Twitter’s mobile site doesn’t show them, either. For a richer mobile Twitter, you’ll need to turn to third-party mobile apps.
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