Twitter (news, site) announced a tool called @anywhere at this year’s SXSQ event. The new feature enables users to enjoy the Twitter experience (almost) anywhere and anytime, without signing into their actual account.
Are you reminded of Facebook Connect? Yeah. Us too.
Just like Facebook Connect, Twitter’s @anywhere enables users to plug their Twitter credentials into popular sites and share information across platforms. For example, if you see a video you like on YouTube (an @anywhere launch partner), you’d be able to tweet about it from within YouTube’s site, rather than redirecting to twitter.com or your Twitter application of choice.
"When we're ready to launch, imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo home page -- and that's just the beginning," explained Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone on the company’s official blog.
We initially caught wind of the possibility of a Connect-like tool for Twitter back in January. Like we said then, considering the number of Facebook Connect fans (today more than 80,000 sites have integrated the tool), it makes a lot of sense to see Twitter following suit. After all, the microblogging superstar has made it quite clear that they’re aiming for a very successful 2010, and this new release proves that.
However, the tool isn’t exactly like Connect. "For example, while both permit easy sharing of content to one's networks, Twitter @anywhere seems poised to do more distribution of content across the Web,” said Forrester Research analyst Augie Ray. "The idea of allowing people to access relevant, real-time information from the Twitter network wherever they surf is a bit different than I've seen done with Facebook Connect, and it promises to open up the Twitter experience to people who as of yet may not have seen a reason to visit, register and participate."
We can’t help but wonder what this means for third-party developers. We talked a couple weeks back about a cryptic tweet sent out by Twitter engineer Alex Payne:
If you had some of the nifty site features that we Twitter employees have, you might not want to use a desktop client. (You will soon.)
Back then developers worried that Twitter would soon lose the need for them. Payne has since removed the Tweet and told developers not to worry, but now that @anywhere is upon us, it might be worth it to worry just a little.