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Twitter gets even more quotable

In response to loads of media outlets screen-grabbing images of tweets and posting them in articles, Twitter now has an official, easy way to do it.

Since quoting Twitter posts is all the rage in journalism these days, Twitter's launching an official way to do it.

According to its Twitter Media blog, on Tuesday, the company will either unveil, launch, or roll out (they're being awfully coy about it) a way to embed tweets on third-party sites with a bit of HTML.

"No, really. It's very simple," the blog post explained. With "just a snippet of code, you'll be able to use to generate simple, selectable flat-HTML tweets."

It'll look like a screen-grabbed image of a tweet, except that the text in question can be highlighted and copy-pasted, and the content will link to the original tweet, as well as to the profile of the person who originally posted it. In other words, it gives members of the media another way to be lazy.

Indeed, Twitter says it was inspired by bloggers screen-grabbing tweets and embedding them in posts as images, calling that "a bit of a hack." But, the company observed, "the use of real tweets helps 'chunk' the piece both visually and logically; we think it makes it easier to read."

Also, it means more of Twitter's official presence around the Web: it could be an obvious next step to tie some kind of data collection or analytics into embedded tweets to find out how much they're being linked out. (That said, Twitter "media innovator" Robin Sloan replied with "Nope!" when asked if these embedded tweets would be collecting any data.)

I'd totally quote someone's witty tweeted thoughts about this whole thing, but the feature hasn't gone live yet. Rats.