While there have already existed a good number of WordPress plugins that can help you incorporate Twitter functionality in your website, none of them were officially supported by Twitter. Few days back, Twitter came up with its own WordPress plugin that intends to help users optimize their websites and blogs for the Twitterati.

So what does the official Twitter plugin bring to the table? In this short post, I tried to get a glimpse of just that.

Basically, the new Twitter plugin does nothing new, but instead tries to offer a one-stop solution for Twitter integration within WordPress websites. As such, anything that you might so far be doing via different plugins or snippets can now be accomplished using this plugin:

  • Embedded tweets
  • Embedded videos and media from Twitter
  • Tweet and Follow buttons
  • Twitter cards
  • Integration with Twitter Analytics
  • Ad conversion tracking

As can be seen, the Twitter plugin does not bring anything out of the box to the table, but instead, offers you one ultimate solution via Twitter integration in WordPress. For example, you might already be using Jetpack to show Follow buttons and your latest tweets in the sidebar, and embedded tweets is a feature that WordPress now offers by default, anyway. In such cases, the Twitter plugin does seem to offer a good deal of redundant functionality, and may probably not be useful for many users.

However, certain features of this plugin seem to be indispensible for a special section of users. Take up the case of Twitter Analytics if you wish to track impressions and progress of your website’s content on Twitter—this can be a very useful feature. Considering the fact that tweets can be very helpful in attracting a new audience to your website, Twitter Analytics is a very handy feature. Similarly, if you are trying to target a custom audience by means of Twitter ads, the official plugin comes with conversion tracking tools to help you out.

Verdict

WordPress offers excellent support for oEmbed, such as YouTube videos and tweets. Therefore, if you are just looking to add Follow and Tweet buttons or embedded tweets to your website, there are several better ways to do it, including Jetpack. In that case, the Twitter plugin is probably not for you. However, if you use Twitter Ads to promote your website’s content or need to track conversion rates on Twitter, this official plugin should surely find a place on your website.

  • Link to Plugin
  • Requirements: PHP 5.4 or higher; WordPress 3.9 or higher

Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for various magazine and blogs, and has authored several books. He blogs about technology, Linux and open source, mobile, web design and development, typography, and Content Management Systems at Code Carbon. You can learn more about him, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.

The post Plugged In: A Review of the Official Twitter Plugin appeared first on Torque.

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