Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 | 6 min read
Twitter has announced changes to its inventory of Twitter Cards starting July 3rd. The platform will soon remove Photo Cards, Gallery Cards, and Product Cards from its portfolio. These Cards allow website owners to decide how rich content is displayed on Twitter when users tweet URLs and are also the basis for promoted Tweets. This is important for brands that are active on Twitter as it will change how some shared content is displayed.
Twitter cites the reason for this change as a lack of usage; these three cards represent a small percentage of total cards used. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for brands, and what the best course of action is in each case.
If you are currently using any of the three retired cards it won’t cause immediate issues as all the discontinued cards will be automatically substituted for other cards. This means that nothing will be broken, but that shared content won’t look the same as you are used to.
If you are using Photo cards, they will now display on Twitter as a Summary Card with Large Image –which is only a minor change.
The main difference is that the Summary Card with Large Image has an additional 140 characters of text that appears below the photo (see image below).
No action is necessary, but you may want to take advantage of the additional 140 characters. You can do this by updating your description in the Twitter Card markup.
If you are using Gallery Cards, they will also display as a Summary Card with Large Image. This is a bigger change as showing multiple images in a Twitter Card is no longer possible.
This isn’t a direct replacement. The ability to share multiple images at once in a gallery will no longer be supported (see image below). If you are using gallery cards, the first image will become the only image in a Summary Card with Large Image.
Ensure that the first image is your preferred image, and if the description text you are using in your Gallery Cards refers to multiple images you may want to update the description to reflect a single image. You can do this by updating your description and image choices in the Twitter Card markup on your website. For now, there isn’t another way to show multiple images in a Twitter Card.
Gallery Cards will no longer be supported. Source
Product cards will be displayed as Summary cards, which means users will no longer see product data such as prices or stock levels in the tweet.
Ecommerce sites will not be able to automatically include product data such as prices, ratings, or stock availability in their Twitter Cards.
If you need to have this information within your Twitter cards, you should include it in the description. To take full advantage of the Summary Card’s features you should update the Twitter Card markup code on your website.
Twitter also announced that it has big plans for Twitter Cards, so we may see more interesting card types to replace these in the near future.
The Twitter “Buy” Button. Source
The platform has been testing a “Buy” button since September, so the retirement of the Product Card could signal the imminent release of this feature. A buy button would be a big move for Twitter and could completely transform the way people use Twitter. Once users have their card details stored, it could even open the way for Amazon Style one-click purchases of goods within the Twitter timeline. We’ll keep you posted on any announcements on this from Twitter.
About the Author: Jamie O’Brien is part of the Sprinklr content team and is based in Singapore. In a previous life, he was a digital art director in London. He likes to get away from the city as often as is humanly possible to snowboard, dive or hike.