Two factor authentication wp.me/p1BkSe-2xO
— Neil Turner (@nrturner) May 19, 2013
If you can’t see the full tweet linked above, click here for an image version.
Twitter have enabled ‘Twitter Cards‘ for this site. So, when a link to one of my blog posts is tweeted, it includes a brief summary of the blog post – the title, first paragraph and accompanying image. It also includes my name and Twitter handle.
Twitter Cards are supported by Twitter’s official mobile apps, TweetDeck, the Twitter web site and where tweets are embedded on other sites, but I’m not currently aware of any third-party Twitter clients that support Cards.
If you want to enable Twitter Cards on your blog, here’s what to do.
Add the metadata to your pages
There are a number of different types of Twitter Card, but for blog posts, you will want the ‘Summary Card‘. The information page lists the meta tags that you need to add to your web pages, however, if you are using WordPress, you can automate this with a plugin. I’m using the Twitter Cards Meta plugin for this, but you can also use the WordPress SEO plugin as well. If you have both installed, make sure that ‘Add Twitter Card meta data’ is unticked in the Social tab of WordPress SEO’s settings.
Validate your Twitter Cards
Next, use the Card Validator to make sure your cards are looking okay. Annoying, the Card Validator only works properly in WebKit-based browsers – i.e. Apple Safari and Google Chrome. Firefox and Internet Explorer users will not be able to see live previews.
Apply and wait
Once you’re happy, click the ‘Validate and Apply’ button and enter the URL of a page on your site where cards have been enabled. Follow the instructions, and then you will be able to submit your site to Twitter for approval. Approval of your site takes around six weeks; if you are successful, Twitter will send you an email, and then your blog’s URLs will automatically start showing Twitter Cards.
Remember that you do need to have a Twitter account in order to apply for approval; however, this does mean that your Twitter handle will show up the Twitter Cards so this could be a good way to get more followers.