Reports surfaced in February that Twitter was quietly testing a new design for desktops, with a handful of people given early access to test the new interface.
The redesigned Twitter seemed to put a greater focus on images, which resembled Facebook’s look before the social giant decided to simplify things and make its site more friendly to older users.
Now, Twitter has officially unveiled its new look which will be immediately available to new users. For those who have been using the microblogging service for years, unless you’re the first lady of the US Michelle Obama, Channing Tatum, John Legend, Floyd Mayweather, or other popular people or group, then you’d have to patiently wait for the redesigned Twitter to eventually rollout.
Twitter users will immediately notice the huge header encompassing the top of the page, much like Facebook’s cover photos. Users can personalize this to feature their favorite photo, cover art or whatever image they want on top of their page. The profile photo is now bigger, and below that you’ll see information about the user like their name, Twitter username, the description of the user, where they’re from and when they first joined Twitter. Below that is a space where people can tweet to the person, followed by a list of Twitter users you and the account you’re looking at have in common, then photos and videos shared by the user.
As for content, Twitter is focusing on users’ tweets. ‘Best Tweets’, or those tweets that received more engagement from followers, will appear slightly larger than other tweets. This makes it easier to find your best tweets. There’s also a new ‘Pinned Tweet’ which allows users to pin one of their favorite tweets, or give emphasis to a tweet they think their followers should know, or if they want a certain tweet to get more attention.
When visiting a user’s Twitter page, visitors now have the option to choose which timeline to view. Options are Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies. This way, you’ll easily see which tweets got replies, if you want to focus on videos and photos shared by the user, you simply click on that tab.
Then on the right side of the page, you’ll see suggested Twitter users based on the profile you are currently looking at. Then below that is a section for the trending topics based on the region you have selected.
The new Twitter looks great, even if it does mimic Facebook somewhat, and new users will find that it’s now much easier to navigate. The redesign is said to be the result of waning user engagement. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told investors that the service will be undergoing some changes to make it better and easier to use.
The announcement made no mention if the redesign will be coming to the Twitter app on mobile, but previous reports stated that some iOS users already had access to the redesigned Twitter before today’s announcement.
The redesigned Twitter app for iOS greatly resembles the desktop version of the service, complete with the encompassing header photo and a large profile photo. No news yet if the new features such as Best and Pinned Tweets will be made available for mobile app.
In late March, Twitter introduced new features, such as tagging up to 10 people in a single photo a user tweet, and collaging or uploading up to four photos in one tweet, with these photos automatically turned into a collage.
One recent change did not sit well with users. Twitter decided to change the ‘retweet’ button to ‘share’ to make it easier for new users to understand. Unfortunately, veteran Twitter users did not like this as they view the retweet button as a unique name for sharing and is only available on Twitter. The change came when some users updated their iOS Twitter app, which resulted to more people not interested in updating the app. It looks like Twitter listened to its users and dumped the idea of changing retweet to share.