In the last week, Twitter have announced two changes to the way that you can use the social media site.

The first is that you can now tailor the trending topics section. This displays the topics that are currently being most talked about and up until now, you have been able to alter this to show the most popular topics worldwide, in a particular country, or a limited number of cities. The update means that it is now automatically tailoring the trending topics that you see based on your location and people that you follow, but you can opt to change this to a particular location via as you could previously.

twitter trends

Perhaps the biggest part of this update which will please many users, is that once you have selected how you want your trending topics to be displayed, this will then follow through to the official Twitter apps that you use on your phone and tablet. Previously, this was set to be worldwide trends only, and although it would be great to be able to change this in app, it can now at least be more relevant to you.

The other change that they have announced is the introduction of Twitter cards. These will effectively allow you to expand your tweets when sharing content from your website and there are three different formats that can be displayed depending on whether you are sharing a summary, image or video/audio. You can use these cards on your site by adding code to the head section of each page. When a link to that page is shared, the card will be displayed according to the options that you select in this code.

twitter card

As part of this code, you can attribute the content not only to the website, but also to the creator’s Twitter handle, with the follow button being displayed next to both the creator and website’s Twitter IDs. This should help to create more awareness of the brand and author if the content is retweeted and seen by those who do not already follow you, in turn, increasing the number of followers that you have.

This card means that you are also given extra space in which to promote your content as you can add a title of up to 70 characters, while you can also add a description of 200 characters, exceeding the tweet character limit of 140 characters.

Currently, Twitter cards will need to be approved by Twitter as this new tool is still being rolled out to users, so you may not see these cards working on your site straight away. Any page that is blocked by your robots.txt file will also not be displayed.

See the Twitter website for a full list of the mark ups that can be used on your website.