Reasons Not To Use Embedded Tweets

twitter logoRead Write Web has a post up about Twitters soon to be released “curation feature”, otherwise known as “embeddable Tweets”.

I’m sure there are many who read the post and like Marshall Kirkpatrick think:

That sounds like a small but exciting feature!

But then again, Marshall would think that. It’s not as if Twitter didn’t kiss enough ass in their post in order to get him to write about it. 😛

Seriously though, I’m only poking fun, Marshall has earned the right to have folks kiss his ass.

Lets get back to the issue of embeddable tweets, shall we?

Currently if you want to feature a tweet by somebody in a post of your own, you’ve got to either take a screen shot, crop it, save it and embed it in your post, or copy the text, paste it in, find the link to the individual tweet, and link that.

Sounds complicated right? Certainly a heck of a lot more complicated than the new method proposed by Twitter which will just be a small bit of code that you paste into your post allowing you to have an attractively formatted and embedded tweet.

As wonderful as this simplicity may sound here are a number of reasons why, even before this feature becomes available, I probably won’t be using it:

  1. Uptime – Lets get the obvious over with first. Twitters service is notoriously spotty at best. It’s been known to go down more often than a cheap prostitute at a stag party. My fears are strong about the availability of embedded tweets when Twitter suffers down time.
  2. Embeddable tweets may not be permanent. We’ve already seen how tweets can be taken down by DMCA request and the internet (and this blog) is rife with incidents of people, famous and otherwise, saying stupid things on twitter only to delete them later. I’d bet you a dollar that if you delete a tweet, the embed will stop working, much like a YouTube embed stops working when the owner deletes a video.

If you want to protect the integrity of your post and not risk having content you relied upon as being the focus or the prompting piece for your article disappearing,  then you simply won’t be able to rely on or use embedded tweets as they are liable to vanish into the ether at any time.

It would be incredibly frustrating for a reader to come to your post and suddenly be missing key information, context or a quote because it suddenly vanished from Twitter.

So, unless I hear some announcement from Twitter that once posted tweets will always be available for embedding even if later removed, I’ll be sticking with “Print Screen” and Photoshop.

2 thoughts on “Reasons Not To Use Embedded Tweets

  1. I use Faststone Capture for quick screencaps and to avoid Photoshop 😀

    That asise, you do have a good point. These embed tweets *will not show* if the user decides to delete the tweet.

    Basically, you need to look at it from a practical sense. A lot of tweets I screencap and put on my site are harmless and have very little chance of being taken down, in this situation, embeddable tweets are *very* nice. I do embed a lot of tweets in my posts.

    But, there is that chance I will come across a tweet that shouldn’t of been tweeted, and in this case, it would be smart to take the screencap instead of embedding.

    It is simply situational to me, and I find it to be a nice feature. Let’s just hope the likes of TechCrunch and RWW don’t rely on the embed method for those special circumstances 😀


    1. I agree with you completely Holden. For this blog all tweets *have* to be screencaps not just because they may be deleted, but there is also the issue of visual consistency, something which I have become acutely aware of since switching from my previous theme.

      Speaking of screencap tools, you might want to give FireShot a try if you’re a Firefox user. It’s a hand little extension 🙂


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