The next frontier for social networks is about getting third-parties to incorporate them as communication tools, and Twitter has recently scored a number of big wins: BusinessWeek, Salesforce.com and Best Buy have incorporated Twitter feeds into their redesigned websites and products. And the more ground Twitter gains, the more of a threat it poses to rivals like Facebook and MySpace that have spent the past year building out platforms aimed at making them more attractive social communication tools.
BusinessWeek is pulling a Twitter feed into the Business Exchange, the social hub it launched last summer. Business Exchange members can create profiles and comment on stories; the Twitter integration displays comments as part of a stream and shortens the URLs of stories they post automatically. The company even revamped its comments section a few months agoshortening the amount of space users had to comment from 1,000 characters to just 120to get them prepped for the Twitter stream. While media sites like CNN.com have incorporated Twitter updates indirectly through Facebook Connect, the WSJ notes that this is one of the first examples of a major media company side-stepping Facebook to pull in Twitter's API directly.
It's not just media companies, though. Salesforce.com built a Twitter-response tool into its customer relations product, and service reps from clients like *Comcast* and *Dell* are now able to monitor the Twitter stream for messages that mention their brand (via InformationWeek). Best Buy has also incorporated Twitter into ConsumersPrice.com, its new social media hub: users can comment on various products through Twitter, share product photos via Flickr, and get price alerts via SMS (via Internet Retailer).
By Tameka Kee