Twitter today introduced a new way to explain the story behind popular tweets, adding a "related headlines" section below posts that have been embedded on other websites. Clicking through to a tweet's permalink page will reveal websites that have embedded it, adding context around posts that might otherwise be difficult to understand.
In a blog post, Twitter cited a tweet from NBA player Jason Collins thanking fans for supporting him after he came out as gay earlier this year. A follower who stumbled across the tweet might not have known what he was referring to.
All the support I have received today is truly inspirational. I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I'm not walking it alone— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) April 29, 2013
But clicking on a related headline would have provided the back story. (Notably, related headlines don't appear in the embedded tweet; you have to visit the permalink page to see them.)
The steady flow of content is one of Twitter's greatest assets, but it can also feel overwhelming for those who don't spend all day reading tweets. Related headlines gives mainstream users an easy way of catching up on the stories behind noteworthy posts. It helps to provide the context that often gets sacrificed when thoughts are limited to 140 characters — while also helping drive attention to publishers, who no doubt will be grateful for the extra traffic.
Related headlines are now rolling out across the service.