Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Twitterfeed - now publishing in real time and into Facebook too

Twitterfeed have announced a range of new features including Facebook publishing, Google Analytics integration and real-time updating.

RSS is the invisible backbone of the internet. I contributed thoughts on RSS to Toby Bloomberg's Twitter Book and described RSS as something that 'makes your central content point (website, blog etc) like a radio station, with RSS broadcasting a virtual signal (aka a feed).' This allows internet users 'to consume content wherever they want' and lets marketers / publishers 'distribute content to multiple locations – Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, other sites, email etc.'

There are a number of RSS services that syndicate feeds allowing content to be published in multiple locations. One of the fastest growing (and most useful) is Twitterfeed. Twitterfeed users add an RSS feed address to their account and Twitterfeed then automatically publishes links into Twitter - with users able to prefix or suffix tweets with a message and also track Twitter clicks through services like bit.ly.

Twitterfeed is responsible for a very large number of the links published on Twitter. To get a feel for the volumes go to Twitter Search and search using a query like 'news source:twitterfeed'. This will show details of any tweets including the word 'news' that were automatically syndicated through Twitterfeed - I have just seen over 200 tweets on this query in under a minute!

Twitterfeed number of feedsTwitterfeed number of feeds being published

Twitterfeed has grown quickly and there are now 350,000 publishers using Twitterfeed 'from the White House to CNN to John Cleese' (and www.nickburcher.com!) 600,000 feeds are syndicated and 5,500,000 clicks are generated by Twitterfeed every day.

However, Twitterfeed look set for a new spurt of growth. Twitterfeed have moved to a 'faster more reliable' platform and have announced new features that allow Google Analytics integration, Facebook publishing and Pubsubhubbub real-time publishing (RSSCloud for Wordpress is imminent too.)

Twitterfeed new features Facebook Google AnalyticsTwitterfeed new feature summary

The new features will produce even more data for Twitterfeed users. The Twitterfeed Facebook publisher will give statistics for each Twitterfeed Facebook post, showing how many people clicked on posts from Facebook vs those from Twitter - allowing Twitterfeed users to better understand where social media strategy is working best.

Furthermore, Twitterfeed now adds special 'UTM' tags to each post that it publishes. Google Analytics can read these tags and integrate the information into its reporting. Twitterfeed users will now 'be able to understand how people clicking on posts from Facebook differ from those clicking from Twitter' and Twitterfeed users will therefore now be able 'to track the complete path of their visitors to the site.'

These changes will ensure that Twitterfeed continues to grow in importance - a really good service and one that seems to be getting better all the time!

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