Twitter reborn with more photo options, revamped interface & #music

small__8476983849Twitter knows just how important photos are to its users, which is why it’s rolled out a bunch of new features aimed at enhancing that particular aspect of its experience.

The two new features Twitter’s introduced are tagging and collaging. You can now tag up to 10 people in a photo to be tweeted, and even if you tag 10 people in a photo, you still have 140 characters available for you to say whatever you want to your followers. Tagging allows for an easier way to notify people you want to share photos with. You get notified when you get tagged in a photo, but if you don’t want to be automatically tagged, you can edit you Twitter Settings here. You can choose to allow anyone to tag you, just the people you follow, or not allow anyone to tag you at all. If your tweets are private, only those people who follow you will see the tags and photos you tweeted, and others can’t tag you in a photos. You can also remove yourself from photos you were tagged in if you wish to.

Mentions and tagging are different.  Mentions, @username, can appear on any tweet, while tagging only appears in photos.

As for collaging, you can now add up to four photos in a single tweet, and these photos automatically create a collage. This allows users to share a series of photos in a single tweet, rather than tweeting multiple times to share a number of photos to followers.

The two new features display in embedded Tweets. Tagging is now rolling out to Twitter users, but the ability to include up to four photos in a single tweet will first roll out to iPhone users, then Android and those using Twitter.com on their computers.

To get these new features, your Twitter app must be updated to the latest version. To find out more about Twitter’s new photo features, check out this page.

Twitter app overhaul

 

Aside from playing with photos, Twitter is said to be quietly testing a new design that resembles its mobile apps to deliver a more streamlined experience for those who use different platforms to access the service. Some who have tried or seen the new design describe it as a Facebook copycat, as it features a profile photo and a cover photo that encompasses the top of the page. The linear look of Twitter has also been changed to reflect something that looks Facebook.

Though most Twitter web haven’t seen this radical redesign yet, some iOS users may get a surprise when they tap on the “Me” button. They’ll be presented with a redesigned Twitter that resembles the one that’s being quietly tested for web users. Like the web redesign, the iOS version is being rolled out to select users, so not everyone who updates their iOS Twitter app see the new design.

TwitterLayout1-730x754Image courtesy of Mashable.

 

Sharing, not retweeting

 

Another thing Twitter is lifting from Facebook’s pages is the share button. Twitter users know that if you want to share a tweet with your followers, you just need to hit that retweet button. Twitter’s user engagement is said to be declining and new users find it hard to use the service because it uses a different language. To make it more user friendly, Twitter is replacing its retweet button with a share button, something that is more familiar for Facebook users, or new users to understand.

Many Twitter users aren’t too happy with the change as ‘retweeting’ something is the service’s signature. Some stated the obvious – that the service is looking more and more like Facebook and they are not very happy with the way things are changing.

If these changes cause more Twitter users to rant out and demand for the retweet to come back, Twitter may be left with no choice but to reverse its decision, unless it wants to risk losing more users.

Twitter Music

 

Twitter #musicIn April 2013, Twitter launched #music, a service that helps people find music based on tweets. It was made available for iOS and the web, but was recently pulled from Apple’s App Store, because most people didn’t know it even existed. Also, the service uses songs from iTunes, Spotify or Rdio, so if you’re already using those services, you won’t have to use #music to discover new songs. For many already using these primary services, Twitter #music is just a waste of time.

But Twitter is not about to give up on its music dreams just yet. According to sources, Twitter will be rolling out a fresh strategy for its music service by discarding the standalone app and focusing on music conversations and content within Twitter itself. This means Twitter users will be able to access music or playlist directly on the service, and not have to launch a separate app to listen to music. Twitter’s music offering is expected to be limited compared to other streaming services as the company has yet to gain licensing rights from music labels.

No news as to when Twitter users will see music integrated to the service. The company has declined to comment on the issue.

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com