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Twitter introduces embeddable tweet-stream tool

The social network launches a new interactive feature that lets users embed real-time customizable streams of tweets on their Web pages.

What the streaming "tweet box" looks like on Twitter's official blog. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Twitter today announced the launch of a real-time tool that allows Web site operators to embed interactive Twitter timelines on their Web pages.

"Today we're bringing Twitter and the Web closer together by launching new real-time tools for Web site developers," Twitter developer advocate Sylvain Carle wrote in a blog post today. "With our new embedded timelines, you can place any public timeline on your Web site, connecting your readers with the Tweets that you and others create on Twitter."

The way the tool works is that it lets users embed a stream of tweets to Web pages, rather than just single tweets or collections of tweets. What users select to embed is customizable. Within the stream, photos and media are expandable and people can follow, reply, retweet, and favorite from inside the "tweet box." The tool is just a line of HTML code, rather than a clunky plug-in.

"With one line of HTML you can deliver any account's tweets, favorites, a list, search query or #hashtag directly to your website," Carle wrote. "These new tools are built specifically for the Web: they load fast, scale with your traffic as your audience grows, update in real-time, and work great in modern, legacy, and mobile browsers."

Twitter's blog is already debuting the feature, as are ESPN -- which is embedding U.S. Open Tennis news -- London Fashion Week, and the writer Margaret Atwood.

News of the tweet-stream tool comes on the heels of Twitter's official launch today of its new developer interface, which gives developers six months to conform to the company's new, restrictive guidelines.