Through a new feature called “Cards,” Twitter users can now display app information, online products and photos in a more visible way. In an announcement last Tuesday, Twitter’s Jason Costa said that Cards are “a new way to bring people directly to your app from a Tweet … so you can more creatively show your content on Twitter.”

With Cards, a reader or follower merely taps a link within a Tweet to view content directly or to download an app and access information.

Dan Rowinski of tech blog ReadWrite sees exciting potential in Twitter’s latest innovation. Not only could clients link directly to a merchant’s site through a Tweet, he says, but “Twitter could even be the arbiter of the transaction by using your account as authentication, tied to a credit card or other payment service.”

Cards are all about metadata, or data that tells about other kinds of data. Cards are described as “deep-linked” because they take users deeper into the websites embedded in Tweets. Cards have enhanced capabilities over the first iteration of Tweets that were primarily meant to post status updates on the Web.

The concept of Cards is not actually new at Twitter. The original Cards were introduced last summer and consisted of three card types: summary, photo and player/video. Since then, based on feedback from publishers who wanted to be able to share different types of content, Twitter developed the new Cards which have three additional categories of functions: apps, products and photo galleries.

The App function allows users to show information about an app in more prominent places, like the App Store or Google Play. Anyone who clicks on the links can download the app being tweeted about. The Product function represents products with an image and description, as well as customizable fields with additional details like price. The Gallery feature is for photos and allows users to represent an album or collection of photographs without being restricted to Tweeting just a single photo.

Twitter’s partners in launching the new Cards include Delectable, Etsy, Flickr, Foursquare, Gumroad, Jawbone, Path, Rovio’s Angry Birds, SoundCloud, Storenvy, Wine Library and Vine.


Costa, Jason. “Mobile app deep-linking and new Cards,”, April 2, 2013.

Rowinski, Dan. “Portal 2.0: The Potential Of Twitter’s New Cards,” April 4, 2013.