Twitter's New Follow Button is a Blessing for Businesses
In a move that's reminiscent of Facebook's Open Graph Protocol, Twitter's (news, site) new Follow button enables users to subscribe to Twitter feeds directly from company and individual websites:

twitter_follow.jpg

The big bonus here, obviously, is that you don't have to be on Twitter's site to interact with it or its users.

This is a significant change for businesses, as they previously had to redirect users to their respective accounts on Twitter.com in order to gain new followers. As marketers have struggled to get audiences to engage with their brands via social media, sending them off to other websites to do so was more than just a little antithetical.

Surely, making things possible with less clicks and less movement overall will likely encourage more followers for everyone, as well as push the once microblogging-focused company into the serious advertiser pool. 

Cracking the Whip

Twitter appears to be hell-bent on cracking down on both advertising and self-sufficiency, in fact, as moves such as the acquisition of both AdGrok and TweetDeck have recently shown. Sadly, it's been at the expense of several third party developers. 

While today's button release doesn't necessarily leave anyone stranded in the wayside, it's certainly making Twitter's aim to remain among today's Internet giant's extremely clear, and it will be interesting to see how quickly it gets adopted and how it changes statistics. 

Interested? You can set the button up on your own site here.