Tweetbacks – Trackbacks For Twitter

Twitter, FriendFeed, Plurk. What do all of these services have in common? They all provide a way to share and discuss things outside of blogging. One of the complaints I’ve heard from a number of people is that, all of these services provide a means for the conversation to move off of the blog and onto these services. Unless you’re a member of these services, knowing when and if someone is talking about you or your blog has been difficult.

Thanks to a WordPress plugin written by Dan Zarrella called Tweetbacks, at least one of those microblogging services will be routed back to the blog. Tweetbacks works in a similar fashion to trackbacks except instead of links back to the originating post, Tweets or Twitter messages will be shown instead.

So how does it work?

It currently finds mentions of the URL through the top 5 most popular URL shorteners on Twitter: Tinyurl,,, Twurl, and SnipURL. I used’s list of top shorteners to prioritize. To prevent it from running afoul of Twitter’s search API rate limits it functions via javascript.

Installation is fairly straightforward and only requires adding one line of code to your template where you want the tweetbacks to be displayed. Tweetbacks is a great way to route the conversation back to your blog.

For directions and information on using the plugin, visit the plugin release page.

4 thoughts on “Tweetbacks – Trackbacks For Twitter

  1. Hello,

    Alot of users are complaining about the loading times on their blog slowing down after installing Dan’s TweetBack javascript. It seems as though the popularity of his tool is growing faster than he can scale servers. In repsonse to feedback in comments, I went ahead and wrote a downloadable version of Dan’s brilliant idea, called TweetBackRedux that works on PHP enabled servers.

    Please note a few things about this version.

    * It caches URL shortener api calls for efficiency
    * There is only support for TinyURL,, and
    * The Twitter search API is not case sensitive. URL shorteners are. This version removes invalid tweetbacks that makes their way into results due to this difference.

    Installation instructions are contained with the source as well as my Twitter handle (@jeremyhilton). Hit me up with any questions, I’ll do my best to answer, but can’t guarantee that I will.

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