Twitter founder Evan Williams announced a new platform for the popular microblogging service during a keynote interview today at South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi). The new platform, called @Anywhere, allows websites to integrate Twitter more deeply.
The platform is launching with a number of media partners, including The New York Times, Digg, The Huffington Post, and Bing. Williams said it will allow users to, for example, discover and follow a writer’s Twitter account simply by hovering over a byline in a news article, or to follow a band after finding its name in the text of an article.
The idea of the platform, Williams said, is to reduce the friction that prevents more engagement. If the platform is adopted, he said, it “should result in more followers for a site,” as well as more community interaction. He referred to the platform as an “@” platform rather than an “app” platform.
Williams was thin on details, despite some prodding during the keynote interview. In some respects, this seemed to be because the platform is designed to be flexible and he’s not yet sure how sites will use it. I did, however, wish that he would use more than 140 characters to describe how it was intended to be used.