As rumored yesterday, Twitter has launched an official “Tweet” button that’s available to all web site owners. You can see it in action already right here on Search Engine Land — look how well it plays with others in the sharing options for our Tweet button story from yesterday:
The Tweet button builder has some cool options, including a way to list what recommended users should be shown when the Tweet button is used. When it’s in use, the button allows site visitors to share content without ever leaving the page they’re on.
This is interesting on a couple levels. As I suggested yesterday, Twitter is playing catch-up here with both Facebook and Google; Facebook recently launched an official suite of social plugins for web site owners, and Google Buzz rolled out its own, official buttons, too. (Delicious.com also offers official buttons, StumbleUpon has its own toolbar and other tools, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Sphinn has official sharing buttons, as well.)
On another level, the Tweet button continues a trend that sees Twitter laying official claim to some tools and technology that were previously only provided by third parties. Earlier this year, Twitter bought a company called Atebits so it could turn that company’s “Tweetie” iPhone app into the now official “Twitter for iPhone” app. In the case of today’s announcement, the Tweet button essentially puts Tweetmeme (and others) out of the business of providing embeddable Twitter share tools. But all isn’t lost for Tweetmeme — it’s a friendly takeover of sorts, and Tweetmeme’s blog explains how the two companies will actually be working together in the future on related projects.
There’s more discussion on Techmeme.