Well last Tuesday saw Twitter finally call time on its API v1. It brought an end to some of the 3rd Party services and widgets that relied upon unauthenticated access to its API and a line in to Twitter’s data.
The biggest setback for many webmasters has been withdrawl of the ability to display a Twitter feed in pretty much whatever format you needed it to be in. With unrestricted access to tap in to Twitter’s RSS feed you used to be able to add a bit of styling, change the background colour and fonts to suit and et voila – a twitter feed that matched your corporate website style!
However, you only have to look around the web to see plenty of websites displaying error messages where their Twitter feed used to render quite nicely – after Twitter pulled the plug.
Do a quick Google search for one of the many popular WordPress Twitter Timeline plugins that displays the following error message now the API has gone ….
“The connection to twitter has returned an error. Please try again later.”
Some 224,000 pages are currently showing the error for this one plugin – that’s a lot of websites that still need a fix.
With Twitter retiring the v1 API and its publicly available RSS Feed, some might say Twitter just “took its ball back”.
So, for many website owners this means a return to using the standard Twitter Embedded Timelines – https://dev.twitter.com/docs/embedded-timelines
Ok the new Twitter Embedded Timelines don’t have all of the flexibility you used to be able to get with the old version – but there is still a fairly good set of customisation options you can choose from.
- You can embed a timeline for Tweets from an individual user, a user’s favorites, Twitter lists, or any search query or hashtag.
- Choose your widget height and theme colours – just two choices here – a light and dark version. The light theme is for pages that use a white or light colored background and follows the twitter.com colour scheme while the dark theme is for pages that use a black or dark color background and looks more like Tweetdeck.
As with your twitter.com profile, you may choose a custom link color for your embedded timelines so that the content matches the links of your website and feels integrated into the color scheme of your site.
How to Embed a Twitter Timeline on your website
To create a timeline you must be signed in to twitter.com and visit the widgets section of your settings page – https://twitter.com/settings/widgets. From this page you can see a list of the timelines you’ve configured and create new timelines.
While all of the configuration settings are stored on Twitter’s server, you can override specific options on the client side by customising the embed code.
Settings such as border colour, footer elements, scrollbars and transparency can all be tweaked with a bit of extra coding. You can see a good example of what can be achieved in the footer of our page where Adam has styled the feed to suit our own look an feel.