As you may have noticed, Twitter have started rolling out a new design of the user interface this morning (9th December). As this is a staggered roll-out, not everyone’s account features the new design – but as I’m one of the lucky ones I thought I’d give you a quick look at the new design.
New Twitter homepage
Perhaps the most obvious and striking of the new changes to Twitter is how the homepage is organised. Before, the account ‘Timeline’ (showing the Tweets of the people you follow) was on the left, with the account information, Trending Topics and the rest on the right. Twitter has basically flipped this so the Timeline is on the right:
It’s not yet clear why they have decided to reverse the structure completely, but my theory is that it provides more exposure to the ‘Promoted’ Tweets and Accounts, which are now on the left. Seeing as Twitter have just started beta-testing their self-serve ad platform, it makes sense they would try and get more eyeballs on the new ads.
Another major change in the new design is the ability for users to search in more detail the ‘Promoted’ Tweets and Accounts, with the addition of options to ‘Refresh’ the list or ‘View All’. Again, this makes sense if Twitter are soon to be encouraging more advertisers to pay for these listings, as they need a feature where they can display more of them.
New Twitter Menu Options
Twitter seems to be having a problem with marrying the (at times) complex nature of the service with easy to use and simplistic menu options. The last re-design a few months ago changed the way users can view the activity on their account (mentions, retweets, recent follows etc…) That has been completely overhauled again with the new design:
We now have a ‘Connect’ button which takes care of all of our ‘Interactions’ like retweets, follows and mentions, while the ‘Discover’ button provides a new search box to search for hashtags etc… as well as providing a list of ‘Stories’ you may be interested in. I guess this list is based on who you follow and interact with, but mine looks slightly random at the minute!
Twitter brand pages
Obviously in a bid to rival facebook and Google+, Twitter have now introduced ‘Enhanced Profile Pages’ for brands to create a richer Twitter experience for their customers/visitors. These are only open to a select few brands at the minute, and Twitter aren’t giving much away on what features they will have – other than bigger header images and free Promoted Tweets.
Probably my favourite addition to Twitter’s functionality is the ability to ’embed’ a Tweet into your own website or blog. Like YouTube’s ‘Embed’ code for video’s, Twitter users will be able to copy a short line of code to put onto their own site, which will display the chosen Tweet along with follow and retweet buttons.
Sorry this is only a short post, but I need to go off and play with the new design a bit more! If I find anything interesting I’ll be back to update you all.