A new service from Twitter looks set to rattle Facebook by allowing users to send and receive tweets while browsing other wbsites, in the same way as Facebook Connect.
The new feature, called @anywhere, will make it easier for partner sites to incorporate the millions of tweets floating around in the ether into their web pages.
"Soon, sites many of us visit every day will be able to recreate these open, engaging interactions providing a new layer of value for visitors without sending them to Twitter.com," says Biz Stone on the company blog.
To start with, Twitter has recruited a number of big names to participate, including Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo, and YouTube.
When users browse one of these sites, people and companies with Twitter accounts will appear as hyperlinks. Hovering over a link will throw up a box with that person's most recent tweet and other Twitter information, and clicking on it will take the user directly to their Twitter profile.
"Imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo home page," says Stone.