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Twitter slaps 'follow' button on third-party sites

Follow Justin Bieber. Without leaving Justin Bieber

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Twitter has rolled out a "follow" button for third-party websites.

With the button, users can instantly arrange to follow particular Twitter accounts without actually visiting the micro-blogging service.

According to a Twitter blog post, more than 50 third-party sites are already offering the button, including AOL.com, the Internet Movie Database, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Wired, WordPress.com, and the official website of Justin Bieber.

"When you follow interesting accounts on Twitter, it’s easy to stay connected with what’s most meaningful to you. Today we’re excited to launch the Follow Button, a new way to discover and instantly follow Twitter accounts directly from the websites you visit everyday," the company said.

"More than 50 sites have added the Follow Button today, making it easy for you to discover the Twitter accounts of your favorite reporters, athletes, celebrities, and other personalities."

The button sits beside the name of a particular account, and if you click on the name, you can see the profile of the account in question and its most recent tweets.

You can add the button to your own website here. After filling in a form, you get a snippet of code to add to your site.

A similar button has long been available on the Wordpress blogging service through the Tweetmeme plugin. And Twitter has long offered a button for tweeting links from third-party sites. In a way, Twitter is mimicking the Facebook "Like" button, attempting to entrench itself even deeper into third-party sites. ®

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