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Twitter brings more media, music to Web client

Five new partnerships come to the Twitter.com site, so that music and video content (among other things) will pop up as a widget instead of opening up in new links.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
Photos from Instagram, like this one of my extremely adorable cat, will now be popping up directly on Twitter.com thanks to a new partnership. Caroline McCarthy/Instagram

Twitter announced five new content partners on Monday that bring more multimedia and video content into its recently overhauled Web site, furthering the company's march away from simply coughing up streams of 140-character messages. The latest arrivals on Twitter.com are videos from syndication platform Blip.tv, hipster-filtered photos from trendy iPhone app Instagram, full-length streaming songs from Rdio, presentations from Slideshare, and works from artist community site Dipdive.

So what does this mean? When you click on a link in a tweet that you see in your stream on Twitter.com, if it comes from one of Twitter's content partners, a specialized widget will pop up in lieu of a separate link.

The number of content partners Twitter currently offers is at around 20 and continues to grow. Last month, Twitter integrated iTunes' Ping service into its Web client to provide song previews and links to purchase music.

It's all been part of a massive operation to make the Twitter.com site a bigger draw for users, many of whom had opted to use third-party desktop and Web clients instead of the more basic original Web site. Some of its moves have been controversial as Twitter itself cuts into the territory of some of the developer applications that its open-ended API facilitated in the first place.

The third-party Web client most similar to Twitter's new look, Brizzly, got lucky: It sold to AOL earlier this year and its team is now working on AOL's own Lifestream feed-aggregation service.