Embedding tweets within content can add greater context to our stories and connect our readers with people and brands of interest. There is a hidden benefit, though, and it’s the way Twitter handles related content.
By embedding a tweet into your page you automatically apply for the “Related headlines” section and may qualify if you meet Twitter’s relevance and quality criteria.
This has resulted in a surge of traffic from Twitter (not t.co):
As you can see in the screenshot, related headlines section shows the top three URLs which by default get the most clicks. Users can also click “show more” to reveal additional content. Naturally those headlines wouldn’t receive the same amount of exposure.
Number of tweets doesn’t seem to be the main factor for Twitter’s sorting criteria (only two out of top three tweeted URLs are in the top three related section), so perhaps the timing is also one of the factors.