Twitter is launching an official Tweet Button for sharing articles on websites and counting how many times a URL has been shared, according to documents Mashable has obtained. The Tweet Button could launch as soon as this Thursday.
We’re still diving into the details, but from what we can tell, the Tweet Button is designed to be the most comprehensive counter of retweets and shares across Twitter’s network. It is a single line of code that can be added to any website. There are three versions of the button (110×20, 55×20, 55×63) with five different settings for customization.
In fact, we have embedded the default Tweet Button below. While the embed code in fact works, the actual act of retweeting an article is not possible for most users, including us. According to our sources, only a few accounts currently have that ability activated:
The company that is most likely to be affected by this development is Tweetmeme, which powers most of the retweet buttons you see on websites and blogs across the web, including Mashable.
Twitter could be directly competing with Tweetmeme, but we think it’s unlikely that Twitter would just spring this product on the world without talking to Tweetmeme first. We believe it’s likely the two companies have a deal, but don’t know what it would look like as of yet.