Twitter Launches The Blackbird Pie Tweet Embedder (And Man, Is It Ugly)

We were told it would be very simple. And it is. But nobody said it would be so ugly.

Earlier today, Twitter launched Blackbird Pie, a tool which allows you to convert tweets into embeddable code that can be placed onto any website. It’s a nice idea, certainly from Twitter’s perspective, as all those embedded tweets can easily be tracked and accounted for.

What we really wanted was just a couple of lines of code. You know, something elegant that you could quickly add to any website.

Instead, we get this monstrosity.

Man, that’s a lot of code. It’s nice that it styles itself to my site, but it might be easier if all that was controlled on the other end. As it is, embed more than a handful of tweets into your site and now that is your site.

Sure, they might provide more functionality, but a simple IMG tag is one line of code.

What Twitter has accomplished here is a way to protect embedded tweets, on the off-chance that the original poster (or Twitter themselves) deletes the source. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been established in a far more elegant manner.

The Blackbird Pie tool is super-slow right now, but that should improve once the buzz wanes a little bit. Or at least, it better, as copying and pasting a tweet into a box on another website, and then copying and pasting all that code into your website, isn’t really a lot easier, faster or (dare I say) better than doing a good, old-fashioned screen grab, and throwing it on imgur.

To be fair, Twitter promises us shorter code in their ‘to do’ list, and this can’t come any sooner. Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but this just seems a bit of a hack job to me, almost as if they came up with this idea two days ago and felt obliged to deliver when a lot of people suddenly got very interested.

Must. Try. Harder. (Myself included – see comments.)

Oh, and in case you’re curious, here’s my embedded tweet below.
.bbpBox{background:url( #131516;padding:20px;}p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px}p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6}p.bbpTweet span.metadata{line-height:19px}p.bbpTweet span.metadata img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px}p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

Vintage Twitter – with some fanfare they launch embeddable (code-hideous) tweets, and the site immediately goes down.less than a minute ago via HootSuite

Publish date: May 4, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT