Here’s a riddle: When is a tweet more than a tweet?

We’re all pretty familiar with Twitter’s 140 characters—and of course, a photo is always an eye-catching addition. But what if your Twitter audience could sign up for your email list without ever leaving Twitter, or directly download your new app straight from a tweet? What if a photo and article summary could travel alongside every post of your content?

And what if you could do all of this for free, right now?

Twitter cards offer all this potential and more. In this post, we’ll go over everything a marketer or small business owner needs to know about Twitter cards—how to understand which types are best for you, how to set up and verify your cards, how to analyze and measure your cards and a few caveats and best practices to know to make sure your Twitter cards stand out from the crowd.

Let’s get going!

Exclusive Bonus: Download a free Twitter Cards cheat sheet!Twitter cards

What are Twitter cards?

If you’ve ever watched a Vine, viewed a YouTube video or clicked on a photo with your Twitter stream, you’ve already come into contact with a Twitter card.

Twitter’s card infrastructure is what allows us to have these rich media experiences that go far beyond a 140-character written message right within Twitter.

By adding a few lines of HTML to your webpage (don’t worry, we’ll cover that; it’s probably easier than you think), you can create this experience for your audience, too.

Any users who Tweet links to your content will have a “card” added to the tweet that’s visible to all of their followers. For instance, here’s how The Verge’s Twitter card carried its information right into my Twitter stream when I shared a recent article there. summary card traveling with link

With 9 different card types to choose from, you can use Twitter cards to ask your audience to do things like:

  • Sign up for an email list
  • Register at a website
  • View and use a coupon
  • Visit a landing page
  • Download an app

…without them ever having to leave Twitter. You’ll also get added benefits, like:

  • A consistent look for your posts across platforms (anyone who shares content that has Twitter cards code in place will produce the same media-rich tweets)
  • Consistent attribution that could drive more more traffic to your site and increase the number of people following you
  • Custom titles and descriptions for your photo or URL (a lot of extra room above and beyond the tweet’s standard 140!), and
  • A really awesome mobile experience for your audience.

Are you in yet? Good; now let’s figure out what Twitter cards are right for you.

Types of Twitter cards and their uses

Right now there are 10 types of Twitter cards that cover a lot of different ground for different types of Twitter publishers as well as different marketing goals. Here’s a quick rundown of each type with an example of how that card looks in the Twitter stream.

Summary card

Buffer summary card  

Summary cards are Twitter’s “default” card and include a title, description, thumbnail image, Twitter account attribution and a direct link to the content. These are great for blog posts!

Large photo summary card

large photo summary card 2  

Large photo summary cards have all the same features of a regular summary card, but they trade a bit of the description space for a big, beautiful image. Highly visual content producers might want to think about this card.

Product card

For anyone working in e-commerce, product cards are going to be very attractive. In addition to a title, description of up to 200 words, thumbnail image and Twitter handle attribution for your product, this card has a spot for selling, with details like price and availability. And remember, once cards are hooked up, this information travels with every tweet. product card

Player card

If you work in music, video, or multimedia, a player card is a must. This card allows your audience to watch, listen or click through your media without leaving Twitter. Think YouTube, SoundCloud, Vine, etc. Here’s how Storify’s card allows users to scroll through all the posts from a recent #Bufferchat while staying put within Twitter. player card Storify  

Audio card

Similar to the player card, Twitter’s audio card provides way for you to experience audio directly on Twitter.  With the audio card, you can listen to audio files directly in your timeline on both iOS and Android devices with a single tap. You can also “dock” the audio card and keep listening even as you keep scrolling inside the Twitter app. 

twitter audio card

 

Photo card

Pretty similar to tweeting a post with an attached image, a photo card puts the image front and center—great for art, photography or other visual industries. There’s also a field for a photo caption and a link back to your site. Flickr photo card

Gallery card

To display more than one image in a single tweet, Twitter’s gallery card is the answer—this card shows a collection of 4 photos within a tweet. Clicking on any one of these photos expands it to full size. Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 4.26.26 PM Use this card to tell a story, explain a process or show various views of a scene of product.

App card

For driving traffic directly to an app, the Twitter app card is ideal—particularly on mobile. When an app with cards enabled is mentioned on Twitter, this card shows the app’s name, ratings, price and icon, along with a short description. The link takes viewers directly to the App Store to download. The call-to-action only displays in the Twitter for iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, and only when the user does not already have your app installed. app card mobile

Lead generation card

Looking for leads? Want to grow your email list? Twitter’s lead generation card can help. This card allows users to sign up for a special offer or opt in to a newsletter right from Twitter—Twitter even automagically fills in your email address so all you have to do is say yes. These cards stand alone; they can’t be attached to specific content or URLs right now. Mailchimp lead gen card 

You don’t need to add code to your website to create a lead generation card; just go to the Twitter Ads Dashboard and use them anywhere you make a tweet on Twitter. Pro tip for Buffer users: Once you’ve created your lead generation card, you plug the URL Twitter provides you into your Buffer queue!

Website card

Want to motivate your audience to check out a landing page or simply visit your website? A website card could be the answer. These have a unique design that doesn’t get truncated in users’ streams (more on that in a minute) so they’re sure to stand out. Website cards include a horizontal image, space for a bit of copy, a link to your site, and a call-to-action button. Adidas website card 

Twitter describes website cards, the social network’s newest offering, as:

A new way for advertisers to easily surface website content within a Tweet and drive relevant traffic to any page of their site, such as their home page, product page, or an important blog post.

You don’t need to add code to your website to create a website card; just go to the Twitter Ads Dashboard and use them anywhere you make a tweet on Twitter.

How to set up Twitter cards

Have you picked your favorite Twitter card options yet? Excellent; now it’s time to set them up. There are a few different ways to go about this, so we’ll do it Choose Your Own Adventure style. (Note: For website and lead generation cards, it’s simple: Just go to the Twitter Ads Dashboard to make them).

If you’re a developer (or are buddies with a developer)

For maximum control and flexibility over your Twitter cards, you can add the appropriate meta tags for the card of your choice onto your site. Twitter offers some nice documentation on how to do this, with the code all set for you to plug your information into. Here’s a sample of their code for a summary card. Twitter sample summary code

If you’re not a developer

Don’t worry if you’re not a developer or can’t wrangle one to give you a hand; there’s still quite a bit you can do on your own. Next step!

If you have a WordPress.org site

There are three different plugins you can try Twitter recommends three plugins to integrate your WordPress site with Twitter Cards: Jetpack, JM Twitter Cards and WordPress SEO by Yoast. Jetpack: Install Jetpack and navigate to the “Social” section to validate your Twitter handle and turn on Twitter cards. Jetpack automatically scans the contents of your post and determines the best card type.

  • If your post has no images, the Twitter card will be set to summary
  • If your post has between 1 and 4 images, the Twitter card will be set to large photo summary
  • If your post has more than 4 images, the Twitter card will be set to gallery

WordPress SEO: Install WordPress SEO by Yoast and navigate to Social > Twitter, where you can choose between summary and large photo summary cards. Bonus: Yoast also helps out with Facebook Open Graph!

JM Twitter Cards: Install JM Twitter Cards and you can enable summary, large photo summary, app, and photo cards. No matter which of these plugins you use, you’ll need to wind up your process by taking a URL from your blog or website (not the main site name; a specific URL where you’d like your card to display) and running it through the Twitter Card validator. You’ll probably end up getting a message like this. card validator screen From here, click the “request approval” button, fill out the quick information the form asks for (your website, a description of your website, your Twitter handle, your email address) request approval

Twitter says it could take up to a few weeks to get approval, but all my tests for this post got approved almost instantly. When you’re approved, you’ll get an email that looks like this: card activation message   The next time you tweet one of your links, it should be card-ified!

If you have a WordPress.com site

By default, WordPress-hosted blogs are enabled for Twitter Cards. WordPress automatically scans the contents of your post and determines the best Card type. (You’ll still need to do the validator step, though.)

If you have a Tumblr or Blogger blog

For Tumblr, Blogger or any other kind of site, get working on befriending a developer or getting comfortable with code—adding meta tags are the way to go here (you’ll also need to validate). This also goes for more complicated cards that require a few extra steps, like the player card.

Need-to-knows and strategies for Twitter cards

So far we’ve talked about all the great things about Twitter cards, of which there are many. There are a few caveats to know, too.

1. Most cards are unexpanded, so make users want to click

First of all, your Twitter card ensures that all your extra information will travel with every post to Twitter. However, there’s no guarantee that your audience will click to see it. For instance, here’s how the Huffington Post would likely want you see their post. huffington post photo summary card

But in the Twitter stream, and as it gets retweeted by fans, here’s how it looks. Only when that “view summary” text at the bottom right is clicked will users see the full Twitter card. unexpanded photo summary card

The default for all Twitter cards (except website and lead generation cards, which are treated a little differently) is this unexpanded version that relies on the user to click for more. The lesson here? Make your copy so compelling and intriguing that users want to click (not so different than what we’re already used to doing with Twitter, right?) One great example I came across is Etsy. Their tweets are short and sweet and do a great job of compelling the viewer to click. Etsy product cards with curiosity gap copy

What aren’t they getting out of? Let’s find out: Etsy full product card

Ah, got it. Looks comfy! Basically, whichever card you choose you’ll want to be aware that every word counts—in the tweet itself and in your extra space for descriptions and calls-to-action. Make your offer clear, your text compelling. You might even consider including a “click to expand” call to action in your tweet to ensure maximum visibility.

Prioritize images

Twitter is pretty good about finding and resizing images to fit your posts, but help yourself out by devoting a little extra time to your images in posts where cards are enabled and the images you make for special cards like lead generation and website cards. Once your cards are in place it might be tempting to let them to do the work and tweet fewer photos, but keep prioritizing attached photos, too! Tweets with images attract 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets than those without them, and Twitter shows photos by default in the stream (as opposed to cards, which need to be clicked to expand). A quick glance at the metrics for these two Flickr posts shows that the photo your audience sees by default has more of an impact than the one they have to click to find. Flickr--attached photo and photo card

Test your cards

With so many Twitter card options, I bet you knew we wouldn’t let you leave this post without talking about A/B testing. Try creating multiple cards for the same campaign with varying images, text and calls-to-action to see which types work best. You might even consider multiple types of cards. Depending on your content and goals, you could find that various sections of your site thrive with different card types.

Cards + pins + ads

With cards plus the ability to pin tweets to the top of your timeline, Twitter has given marketers a powerful one-two punch. We’ve had particular success at Buffer with pinning our lead generation card to the top of our Twitter stream. card plus pin

Marketers with an advertising budget cam combine lead generation or website cards with targeting options like interest, keywords, or tailored audiences segments to drive qualified traffic at just the right time

How to measure success with Twitter cards

I imagine after you’ve gone through all the effort of choosing your cards, bribing a developer and/or installing plugins, and crafting killer cards, you’d like to know how Twitter cards are performing for you. Twitter’s got you covered! Let’s take a look at some of the analytics you’ll find in your account. To see your analytics, navigate from your Twitter account to Ads:

get to Twitter ads

Then to Analytics > Twitter Cards:

get to Twitter card analytics

Once there, you should see a dashboard that looks something like this: Twitter cards analytics dashboard  

Since the information in cards travel with the tweet regardless of who’s posting, these metrics are for all Twitter users (not just your tweets). Twitter can’t count posts made through third party tools, though.

Top line metrics

These are the numbers at the very top and include: URL clicks: The number of clicks on a URL in a tweet or a card Install attempts: The number of times users who don’t already have the app installed clicked “Get the app” on a card that has app information enabled Retweets: Retweets that occur on tweets containing a link to your content

Snapshot

The snapshot graphic is a quick look at how tweets and cards are driving traffic, installs or shares—click on the circle of the goal that interests you to see it in full.

Change over time

This graph has the same impressions, tweets and clicks metrics from snapshot, but formed into a rolling 28-day look at how each metric has grown in comparison to the others. change over time

Card types

This chart allows you to benchmark your Twitter cards by comparing their performance against overall standards. card types

Links

See which content is faring best with this chart, which surfaces your top-performing posts by impressions and clicks (up to 100 top links). Twitter cards links analytics

Influencers

Whose posts had the most impact on your impressions and clicks? This chart will tell you–all the way up to your top 100 influencers.Twitter cards influencers

Tweets

Here’s a useful list of the top posts that drove clicks back to your site (note that they’re not necessarily coming from your account alone) top tweets

Sources

Where are all the posts that include a URL or card of yours coming from? This chart captures all the different apps, tools and widgets your audience is posting from. Twitter cards sources  

Over to you

Whew! So that’s it for analytics, and everything you need to know (I hope) to get started with Twitter cards. (Got questions I didn’t touch on? Let me hear them!) Have you tried Twitter cards? I’d love to hear about your experiences with setting them up and using them, as well as how your audience has interacted with them. Tell me all about it in the comments! Exclusive Bonus: Download a free Twitter Cards cheat sheet!

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Written by Courtney Seiter

Courtney writes about social media, diversity and workplace culture at Buffer. She runs Girls to the Moon on the side and pets every dog she sees.

  • https://jobmob.co.il/ Jacob Share

    Courtney, in a recent article here, Neil Patel mentioned automating social media shares using tools like SocialOomph. Since the Twitter Card support seems to be related to my website itself, once validated, any tweets with one of my urls will automatically by card-ified no matter where they came from? Share button, SocialOomph, posted on Twitter.com, etc.?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Jacob! Correct, once they’re validated your card info goes everywhere your tweets go. However, Twitter’s card analytics can only count posts through Twitter proper–no third-party tools.

      • https://jobmob.co.il/ Jacob Share

        Thanks for clearing that up, Courtney

  • http://www.adesojiadegbulu.com/ Adesoji Adegbulu

    Thanks for the elaborate and more details guide for setting up a Twitter Card. I once posted the summary version on http://www.mmo.ng/setup-twitter-cards/

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      You’re welcome; hope it’s helpful. A deep dive on specific cards is a great idea; they’re all quite different!

      • http://www.adesojiadegbulu.com/ Adesoji Adegbulu

        It’s helpful.

        Yes, they are quite different. I just went straight into details for the summary card type since that would be what most of my readers will want to implement.

  • Tim Rohe

    Good information. It would be nice to see Twitter and blogging platforms come together to make cards even easier to tailor to each post.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      I agree with you, Tim; I bet they’ll become easier to implement the longer they’re around. 🙂

  • http://iammobileguru.tumblr.com/ Chetan Mohan

    Really Great Blog Post. very informative. I was unaware of this twitter card functionality. So i must say that twitter is building cool stuff for websites and business promotion. Thanks @courtneyseiter:disqus for all the hard work in drafting this awesome post

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      You’re very welcome; I didn’t know you could do all this for free until I started researching this post. Exciting possibilities!

  • http://russeweb.fr/ RusseWeb

    Thanks for a great post ! I think I’ll start to use Twitter Cards straight away !

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      I’d love to hear how you get on with them! Thanks for reading!

      • http://russeweb.fr/ RusseWeb

        I did all like you wrote in the article : as I have a blog on WordPress I field in the information in Card Validator. Then received their mail with confirmation (it arrived just in 2 minutes after I send the demande). I added a code from Twitter to my header.php file on the site. But seems like it does not work. I maybe did something wrong…

        Does it work for all posts on Twitter ? Or only the shares from my blog ?

        • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

          Hey, that was quick! Great question! If you put the code in the header text of your blog, it should work for all shares of content from that blog. Sometimes it can take a few minutes for it to “kick in.”

          • http://russeweb.fr/ RusseWeb

            Strange does not work for me. Maybe I’ll check one more time 🙂 Thanks for your quick replies ! and really nice article !

          • http://russeweb.fr/ RusseWeb

            It works now 🙂 But only when I click on the twitte. Looks beautiful !

          • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

            Very lovely; congrats!

  • http://nicklafond.me @thinkB1G

    Great article! Bookmarked for future reference.. when I get stuck!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Sounds like a good plan; hope it’s smooth sailing for you!

  • http://erikvanmechelen.com/ Erik van Mechelen

    Thank you for the how-to. Cheers -E

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Thanks for checking it out, Erik! 🙂

  • http://www.michaelbromley.co.uk/ Michael Bromley

    Very comprehensive article!

    Just a note for those who have websites built with JavaScript frameworks such as AngularJS – your Twitter cards will probably not work out of the box and will need a simple server-side solution to enable Twitter to read your meta tags. I’ve written an article about it for anyone interested: http://www.michaelbromley.co.uk/blog/171/enable-rich-social-sharing-in-your-angularjs-app/

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Super helpful note, Michael; thanks a bunch for sharing that info!

  • Ben Lowndes

    Hi,
    I’ve tried this and can’t work out how you apply for approval once you have filled in the information for a summary card on https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cards/validation/validator

    Can you advise?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hi Ben! The main thing to do on the validator is to get to the “request approval” section. To get there, you can enter any URL (from the section of your site you want to activate cards) into the validator and wait for the not approved/request approval message. Fill out the info and Twitter should quickly shoot you an email! Does that help at all?

      • Dea Dewa Fourthiza

        Hi,

        For app card, is the meta tags put in the app or on the website

        Thanks

  • eifc7

    Courtney, this was a really comprehensive article on a subject I wanted to know more about. After Twitter started advertising their free analytics, I was interested in finding out more about the cards. Before your article I had at least 4 tabs open with different articles I found via google search on Twitter Cards. None of them covered it all like yours. Thanks!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Awesome; I’m so glad to hear it might be handy for you. I’m sure I had those same 4 tabs (and many more) open as I researched this post. I learned a lot! Feels great to pass that along to others. 🙂

  • eifc7

    I have a question C

  • eifc7

    How would the cards work when scheduling with Buffer and Hootsuite?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Good one! Once they’re set up, Twitter card information should travel with your Twitter posts no matter where they’re scheduled from. The only caveat: Posts from third parties won’t be counted in your analytics.

  • Kath

    Great article! I was just wondering, is this feature available outside the US yet? I’m in Australia and am VERY keen to test it out! Let me know 🙂

  • DeweyBird

    This is a great writeup @courtneyseiter:disqus!

    We have a service for non-developers to create Twitter Cards at http://www.deweybird.com

    It works like a rich bit.ly – build your card by uploading photos or videos and writing some copy, we’ll take care of the meta tag code and give you a new link to tweet. Twitter users see the card, but get directed to your content as expected!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Thanks for reading, and for sharing this info!

  • LeoWid

    Wow, can’t believe how epic this post turned out, great work Courtney!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Thanks, Leo! 🙂

      • http://www.lesfaber.ca Les Faber

        I agree with @LeoWild. Excellent work Courtney. Very relevant & useful write up. #BRAVO

  • http://tweetpressfr.github.io/ Julien Maury

    Thanks for the quote 🙂 Actually with JM Twitter Cards you can get all card types 🙂

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Oh, that’s awesome, Julien! can you shoot me a link to that info or maybe a tutorial? I’d love to update the post!

      • http://tweetpressfr.github.io/ Julien Maury

        I’ve included a serie of video in the plugin itself. My English is not very good but hopefully it’s useful for users.

  • http://katetilton.com/ Kate Tilton

    I do not have a WordPress blog so I am looking at how I might add the code to my website but based on Twitter’s code it looks like you need to include a new title and description for each post directly in the code?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hi Kate! Great question; I thought the same thing myself when I first started researching. Twitter doesn’t make it super clear for us non dev types. 🙂 There is a way to make it dynamic so you don’t have to repeat this process for each post; AJ Kohn does a great job of describing the process step-by-step and even offering some code template in this post: http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/twitter-cards-are-rich-snippets-for-tweets Hope that helps get you going!

      • http://katetilton.com/ Kate Tilton

        Hi Courtney!
        Thank you for sharing AJ’s post. It’s good to know we don’t need to repeat the process! 🙂

      • http://katetilton.com/ Kate Tilton

        Thanks Courtney! I tried AJ’s code and that didn’t quite work on my system but I think they (the developers of the platform I use) have done something because I am seeing summary cards on all my tweets now. 🙂

  • IwanoMai

    Courtney, which is the website card? I don’t see it listed as that on Twitter’s card type page?

  • http://www.kevin-pike.com Kevin Pike

    The one knock on Twitter Cards I’ll give is campaign management. It’s horrible. Their dashboard seems to be missing “pause” and “delete” options. This is not good for testing purposes to have to always edit a card instead of testing out different cards in one account.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Kevin! Oh, that’s a great insight to add here; I haven’t yet had much experience managing cards. Thanks for sharing that!

  • funboothdevon

    Wow, never heard of them before although I have seen them. Must try now!

  • Davide Di Prossimo

    Courtney,

    This is just a great post. Thanks for sharing these incredible insights. Look, since we are on topic, let me add that I have been using Twitter Lead Generation Card (TLGC) to gather email addresses of potential readers, and I have had a 30%+ conversion rate (email subscribers); I thought this might be a good stat for anyone wondering how TLGC converts.

    Thanks again.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Wow, amazing! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring stat!

    • http://socialmediawithpb.com/ Priyanka Biswas

      That’s excellent. Does Twitter charge you for each sign up? Because when I try to create the card from the Twitter ads dashboard, it asks for a daily budget etc.

  • Glenn S. Ferguson

    Thanks Courtney for the tips. Looking to increase traffic for our wedding minister Nassau Bahamas business.

  • http://www.bubble-jobs.co.uk/ Amy Edwards

    Great post. I really like Twitter Cards – and I think they make a great addition to any site.

    That said; I am having difficulty implementing them on a certain part of my site.

    I work for a digital jobs board – and I’d really like to implement Twitter cards on each vacancy page. I’m guessing I’ll need to use a product card – but I’m having difficulty figuring out how to customise the fields – so it pulls through things like employer, salary and location. If anyone has any idea on how I might be able to do this, I’d be really keen to hear your thoughts.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hmm, that’s a tough one Amy! Does Twitter’s info on product cards help at all? https://dev.twitter.com/cards/types/product Looks like it could work to make your meta labels something like salary and location and make sure the employer name is in the description?

  • Ben Smidt

    I know this post is not that old…but it would appear Twitter has recently made some changes, specifically to the ability to use their Lead Gen Twitter Cards. Any additional info on this? I can’t seems to use LGCs as expected.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Ben! I’d love to help; what are you seeing that’s different/new? I wonder if Twitter is testing some new stuff…

  • http://whitbeckweb.com Jon Whitbeck

    Excellent post! I first tried using the JM Twitter Card plugin, but was unsuccessful. Next I decided to try my already installed WordPress SEO plugin, but was unsuccessful.

    I have been “whitelisted” by Twitter, having received an approval for a Summary with Large Image Card. I’ve checked the source code and my Twitter meta is showing. Plus, when I validate I see a beautiful example of what my card would look like.

    However, when I tweet my blog post, I don’t see my card- even when I click Expand. Maybe it takes awhile for the Twitter Card to become fully functional?

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Jon, so sorry for the delay! How did this work out for you? Did your cards ever generate? It can take a few hours for the cards to work through sometimes.

  • StefsterNYC

    Finally a great in depth post about it all. Even the part I’ve been looking, that no one has mentioned, is the unexpanded part. Our client really wants it already expanded. Is that possible or no? Because I’ve looked high and low and have found nothing. Does anyone know if we can change that?

    Thanks.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey there, great question! I wondered the same thing and all the info I was able to dig into indicates that you cannot make the cards expand by default. Twitter’s default for cards is to invite the user to learn more if they would like to. It seems like this could change in the future, but for now the unexpanded cards seem to be what we have to work with!

      • StefsterNYC

        Hi Courtney, thanks for getting back to me. I couldn’t believe that no one was talking about this anywhere. I searched for 2 days and finally found your post that just mentioned it somewhat but not about it in general. I wish they’d give us the choice.

        Thanks again and great article by the way.

  • Georgia

    Hi there,
    I’m trying to work out this twitter card thing! Thanks for the article. I am trying to tweet stuff for work through my personal page and my boss’s personal page. We have a work twitter account but we do not have control over this. We don’t have a blog but are wanting to use twitter cards to send gallery cards, photo cards and summary cards. Ive looked on the twitter ads section but it looks like you have to pay for this service. IS there any other way? Can you make a tweet card through hoot suite?
    Thanks

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hi Georgia! Hmm, good question! Gallery cards, photo cards and summary cards are all attached to a specific site. You’ll activate them on the website you want to carry the cards, and once the code is all set, the cards will generate for whoever tweets the info. So you’ll need a blog or other website to set the cards up. You can create website and lead generation cards through Twitter and you do not have to pay, although it kind of looks like you do at first (you may need to give credit card info when you set up a Twitter Ads account but you can make the cards for free).

      • Georgia

        Thanks Courtney, Ill have a further look into, there’s so much to know about it all!

  • Dea Dewa Fourthiza

    Hi Courtney,
    for the App Card, the meta tags are installed on the app or on the site?

    Thanks

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hi Dea! You install the code on your site, referencing all the info about your app. Here are the details from Twitter: https://dev.twitter.com/cards/types/app

  • Vladi Vasilev

    Great article Courtney, my tweets look awesome now… thanks

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Woohoo, so glad!

  • http://wordsbyshivani.com/ Shivani Shah

    This is a great post, Courtney. I never knew what Twitter Cards were until an hour ago, and this post has really answered a lot of questions. I’m off to make my own Twitter Cards now!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Thanks, Shivani! Hope your experience is a great one. 🙂

  • http://www.365ninja.com/ 365ninja

    This was so, so helpful–one of those posts that had information that I really needed, but didn’t know I needed (so therefore hadn’t sought it out yet!). Also great to know I can still schedule tweets from Buffer and the card info still works.

  • christophe Goasduff

    Hi Courtney, thanks for this very in-depth post.. just one question, are Twitter Cards a free feature ? Your post suggests that it is but I read the following on the Twitter website [..Website Cards are priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, meaning you’ll only pay when someone clicks through to your site…] ref: Set your budget: https://business.twitter.com/solutions/gain-website-conversions

    Can you confirm if there is a free way to use them? Thanks a lot

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hi Christophe! Great question! It is a bit confusing since you make Twitter lead generation and website cards through the Twitter Ads interface, but you can in fact make the cards for free. You can also pay to promote these cards to a larger audience if you like. Does that help at all?

    • Cat

      It took me a while to figure this out too. It’s not explained properly anywhere on the web., not even on Twitter’s page. To use website cards for free you need to go to https://ads.twitter.com > Creatives tab at the top > Cards > select Website > and from here it’s intuitive.

  • http://www.wmwebdesign.co.uk/ Keith Davis

    Hi Courtney
    Just done it and got approval in a few mins – fabulous in-depth post.
    Fortunately I use Yoast SEO so the coding was easy. LOL

    Appreciate the time you spent on this one.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Keith! Congrats on your new Twitter cards! They’re fun, huh? I enjoyed digging in and learning about them. 🙂

  • http://www.wmwebdesign.co.uk/ Keith Davis

    “But in the Twitter stream, and as it gets retweeted by fans, here’s how it looks. Only when that “view summary” text at the bottom right is clicked will users see the full Twitter card.”

    Didn’t read that bit and thought that it wasn’t working.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Yup, that’s a tricky detail! I wonder if that’s something that Twitter might change in the future…

  • GFP63

    It is my understanding (and I am sure I’ve done it previously) that a Twitter web card can be posted to your followers – pretty much what this entire article is speaking about. Now I’ve created a new Twitter web card but when I ‘compose a tweet with this card’ and ‘post now’ it does not appear in the accounts timeline (?). There is the message ‘ Tweet will be shown only to those targeted in Promoted Tweet campaigns. ‘ to the left of the Tweet button, but I have another web card under ‘Creative > Tweets’ that was posted previously and does not have the ‘Promoted only’ text following it. How do I post the card to ‘followers’ like a regular tweet? Obviously I am missing something. Thank you for your help!

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Oh, how interesting! I wonder if Twitter might be experimenting with making this feature paid only? Would you mind sharing what type of card you’ve created? I looked at our lead generation and website cards and still see the option to post to our followers. If you’d be able to share a screenshot of what you’re seeing on the card, I’d love to check it out!

      • GFP63

        First, let me thank you for the prompt reply. It’s been a frustrating afternoon! I’ve attached a screen shot (names blacked out to protect the innocent) with 2 images. The first image is the dialog box I get when I go to post the tweet directly.
        The yellow highlighted area in the second image refers to a web card I had posted as a regular tweet as recently as 12/23. Note there is no ‘Promoted Only’ text under the message. I would be happy or provide you more specific information directly if that might help resolve the issue.

        • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

          I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this one, so sorry! I’ve tried to replicate this in our account and haven’t had any success. Maybe Twitter’s support could shed some light on this one? So sorry I can’t help further!

          • GFP63

            Thank you again for taking the time to look into this. I figured it out right after reading your reply.
            We are using a master/agency account that has a number of sub accounts under its management. This allows you to create and manage campaigns for these accounts individually without having to log in and out for each one. Apparently, however, when you are logged in as this ‘administrative’ account the option to post cards to followers is not available – even from within the campaign for the selected account. It occurred to me to try logging in directly as the account the campaign was being developed for. Sure enough when I went to post the web card the ‘Deliver Tweet to all your followers’ option is available.

          • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

            Oh, makes sense! Hooray, I’m so glad you were able to get to the bottom of this one!

          • GFP63

            Hi there again! On a related note – is there a way to delete a web card, or any older/unused creatives? I understand existing ones can be updated and re-purposed (new image, headline, etc.) but after a time you might just want to do some housecleaning and delete. I’ve been looking around and it does not seem that you can.

          • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

            You know, I don’t think there is! Or at least I haven’t found it! I’m sure Twitter is working on adding this soon. 🙂

  • bradblackman

    Great post, Courtney. I was thrilled to find that Yoast, which I already use, does this. However, when I go to authenticate it with Twitter, it says it can’t find a card. Evidently Yoast isn’t adding the card meta information. Any idea what I can do here?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Brad! Just saw this comment, but hopefully you were able to work this out following our Twitter conversation?

      • bradblackman

        Nope, I never got a response from Yoast. I may see if JM Twitter Cards is a better plugin option. Of course some other plugin may be canceling it out or something. Who knows. I’m not running much on the plugin front.

        • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

          Oh darn! Yeah, maybe try JM or Jetpack!

  • http://www.fortuneinfotech.co.uk/ Jack Sam White

    Great post on twitter cards. I want to know if there exist any trusted and good module for Drupal websites for creating these twitter cards?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey there! I am not aware of one (don’t know much about Drupal) but perhaps some of our community members might be able to lend a hand!

  • Pravinsingh_Waghela

    You haven’t explain ho to set one for Mobile App. Could you please do so?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Great one, Pravinsingh! Hmm, I’m not quite sure what you mean. Is this info from Twitter what you’re looking for at all? https://dev.twitter.com/cards/mobile

      • Pravinsingh_Waghela

        Well I think I had Find the solution, anyways thanks for the help.

  • http://maureencberry.com/ Maureen C. Berry

    Thank you Courtney for this invaluable information and the step-by-step guide for non-tech people like myself. I have had WordPress SEO Yoast installed for months and didn’t know about this feature. 🙂

  • http://blog.hovercraft.ie/ David Kiv

    Really interesting, bookmarking for sure, will definitely try this out asap!

  • Kiko

    Hey, one question: Website Cards are still available? was not able to find this on Twitter

    Thank You 🙂

  • shwaytaj

    What if I have just the app on play store and dont have a website. How do I go about implementing / activating the card for my app?

  • ozc

    hi, please help me. 🙁
    my web site yucaps.com I can’t multiple twitter cards my website. My website one page, there is a lot of pictures in the page.

  • http://vegasfanboy.com VegasFanboy

    Extremely helpful, Courtney. A simple, yet thorough explanation. Much appreciated!

  • http://ShihanEssence.com Shihan Essence

    Hi Courtney,

    Excellent article! Thank you.

    I do not have a WordPress blog… so I guess the only option left for me is to code, right? :/

    Regards,

    Diego.

  • Ayesha

    This was such an immensely helpful post. Thankyou 🙂 I see WP beginners struggling with meta data for twitter card validation. For that I’ve posted one easy method to insert twitter card into WordPress http://ayeshajamal.com/how-to-add-a-twitter-card-in-wordpress-easily/

  • http://socialmediawithpb.com/ Priyanka Biswas

    Hi Courtney,

    I think the Lead Generation and Website cards are paid options right? Twitter mentions that you will be charged if a user clicks on the call to action button.

  • Karen Myers

    Very helpful info. Thanks

  • Idoia Urcelay

    Thanks a lot for such a great post Courtney! This was very helpful. I will explore more straight away.

  • marianne

    Hi Courtney

    Great article. I have created website cards but it looks like I have to have full access to my client’s twitter account to not only add the tweet but the targeting. Any way around this?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey Marianne! Ah, so sorry, I don’t know a way around that. Wish I could help!

  • Rumah Murah

    wow thank you, finally I found this article for my blog dailycookierecipes.com

  • http://www.w3course.com/ Md Ashraf Malik

    m using twitter product card for http://webdeveloperbareilly.in/seo-company.html but not showing product card how to fix

  • http://webclickmarketing.com Stella Oefinger

    Is there any way to get the Twitter card cheat sheet? The link goes no where.

  • http://silaytambayan.blogspot.com/ silaytambayan

    Twittet cards can really help increase website traffic. I will be launching an e commerce site soon( http://beautycafe.xyz ) and I wan to integrate product cards on it. But I am using an open source platform. I’m still searching how to start integrating. This could really help boost my revenue.

  • http://lifewithlorelai.com/ Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

    I have twitter cards in place. My problem is that instead of drawing a relevant img for my post (such as the set featured image, or the img URL placed in the social tab for Yoast SEO in the blog post editor) it is grabbing a social media icon. HELP PLEASE… I have to get this figured out! Your article is fantastic, I’ve saved it. Thanks in advance,

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

  • AT Surgical

    Courtney, Great article! But once I validated a post on my site I did not see any button to “Request Approval”. In face there were no buttons at all reworded any other way.

    Did Twitter update their interface since youwriting this article? Stuck at the Validator Help!

    • AT Surgical

      Ok, so I looked on the Developer Comm. board for Twitter and they said you only need to REquest Approval for Player cards. But I’m confused what to do next.

      1. i put URL through Validator. Cool.
      2. I tried putting that same URL in twitter and no card?

      What am I not doing.

      3. Regardless, do I have to validate every link I want a card to?

      Thanks Courtney. I just feel like I’m missing something.

      • Rie Neal

        Sorry, I know these comments are old. But I’m having the exact same problem! Did you ever find a solution??

  • charlottebatson

    Hi Courtney, thanks for the article!

    My developer buddy tells me that Twitter cards are incompatible with Buffer because of the link shortener. What am I missing? I want to post to Twitter WITH Twitter cards using Buffer!!!

    Also, in the last year since the below comments were written, apparently validating Twitter cards is so longer needed. Is this true?

    Thanks for your help and the great article!

    Charlotte

  • charlottebatson

    Also, I think that Yoast SEO (even the Premium version) only support the Summary card and the Large Photo with Summary card, is this right? I think they are FABULOUS and want to use them as much as possible!!! Thanks in advance for your reply, Charlotte

  • Hansoftech

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing