Fresh from its IPO, Twitter is already getting busy adding new features to its service, allowing users to curate their own timelines manually or using an API. These timelines can then be shared across the web or embedded on users’ websites.
A few Twitter users have already demonstrated how this new tool can be put into action. Carson Daly, host of The Voice in the US, created a custom timeline to serve as a live companion for the show, The Guardian hosted a Q&A session using a custom timeline, and Twitter Music has created various collections, such as most popular songs and the best music Vines.
Custom timelines are created, managed and shared using TweetDeck. Users start off by creating a new column for their custom timeline, and they can then add tweets from other columns using drag-and-drop or keyboard shortcuts. Tweets can easily be removed, too, and an ‘Add to custom timeline …’ option will also be added to the More Actions menu on individual tweets.
Share options include embedding, viewing on Twitter.com or tweeting about the timeline. All custom timelines are public, making it easy for other users to follow the action. Users’ profile cards on TweetDeck will now list any custom timelines they manage, and you can track others by adding them as a column.
As custom timelines are part of the Twitter for Websites toolkit, the embed process is similar to that already in place to embed timelines and tweets.
For now, select partners can automate curation of custom timelines using a new beta API. This allows users to programme what appears on these timelines or even build tools to help others manage theirs.
This new feature will roll out to all TweetDeck users over the next several days, arriving first to TweetDeck for web, Chrome and PC users, and following with an update to the Mac app.
Detailed instructions on how to create custom timelines in TweetDeck can be found on the Twitter Blog.