Twitter's Evan Williams announces @Anywhere platform
Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter, has announced a new platform, called @Anywhere, in his keynote at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
The service will add a range of functionality, such as allowing users to login to third-party websites using their Twitter account – similar to Facebook Connect – and to follow a columnist on Twitter, for example, by clicking on their byline.
Websites will be able to link to a Twitter account and users who run their mouse over the link will see a Twitter biography of recent tweets. Williams used the example of the band The Flaming Lips. Running the mouse over a link to The Flaming Lips activated a pop-up window on the page showing the band’s account and recent tweets.
Williams said @Anywhere will offer “a connection to users you didn’t have before, and it keeps them coming back.”
Interviewed by economist and writer Umair Haque, Williams said that Twitter is “an information network that helps people understand what’s going on in the world that they care about.”
He said that his priority now was to help people who are not familiar with Twitter to understand that there is useful information available on the site. He said that many users do not want to share what they are doing – something that was originally promoted as the purpose of Twitter – but there are still people on there that they would benefit from following.
Williams said that Twitter had done deals with major search partners to share its realtime data but the site would now focus on making this data available to smaller websites.
Twitter is partnering with several major websites for the launch of @Anywhere, including Amazon, eBay, Digg, The Huffington Post and The New York Times.
An entry on the Twitter blog said the new @Anywhere functionality will be available “soon”.