For those of you who are adamant followers of Twitter, you’ll be well aware that around this time last year there was a lot of talk in the social media sphere of Twitter losing its edge. There was a growing concern that it had become a crowded space where quality had fallen and it was no longer easy to get the message across. More recently, reports that overall revenue had been dented by falling ad revenues have done little to help. However, there have also been some significant developments lately – firstly, the announcement in April that user growth had seen an impressive upwards movement, and secondly, the launch in mid-June of the new look interface. All things considered, it looks like Twitter is very much here to stay for the foreseeable future – so you better sit tight and get used to the new look! Here’s a quick guide to what’s changed.
The navigation in Twitter has actually been on the change for quite some time now. Changes were made on Android last year helping to bring many of the features into one place. This involved the introduction of a new side navigation menu containing profile, additional tabs, settings and privacy amongst others into a single menu available with just one click – or slide for those who prefer. The streamlined layout removed a lot of unnecessary distraction from the app, helping users to browse and work more easily than ever before.
After seeing huge popularity on the Android platform, the changes have now been rolled out for IOS.
Twitter for Safari
Whilst Chrome has managed to establish itself as the most used browser by a huge margin, it is important to remember that there remain some other big players in the market. Firefox comes in at second place, and in third place is Safari – the standard browser platform for a significant proportion of users who are powered by the macOS or IOS systems which are based on the webkit engine.
Twitter has been working hard to improve the experience on Safari, with the latest updates meaning that links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app, enabling users to easily access accounts on websites they’re already signed into. There is also now an option to always open supported links in Safari Reader view.
Improved typography and image
A subtle but significant change has also taken place with the typography and overall image. Users may not have noticed at first glance, but Twitter have refined their typography to make it more consistent, and added bolder headlines to make it easier to focus on what’s happening. Following what seems to be the trend across social media, they have also made a switch to rounded profile photos, which, they claim “make it clearer to see what’s being said and who’s saying it” (and also mean you might need to look at redesigning your profile picture for optimum display).
The icons have also seen a change. Whilst many old-school Twitter users were quite alright with the icons as they were, research indicated that people coming to Twitter for the first time were not always getting it right. For example, people thought the reply icon, an arrow, meant delete or go back to a previous page. This has now changed to a speech bubble, a universally recognised symbol that most people know and love. The icons have also been made lighter for more seamless interaction, helping to draw attention to the all-important content.
One of the most common bits of feedback that the Twitter development team received was that there was a lack of ‘real-time’ information on tweets. The new Twitter has taken this on board with the introduction of instant updates on tweets. This includes reply, retweet, and like counts so you can see conversations as they’re happening – live.
It should be noted, however, that these are not yet available on Twitter.com or Twitter Lite and there is no news as to whether similar changes can be expected anytime in the future.
Overall, the changes introduced in the new look Twitter may be subtle, but they are all part of a big, bold statement that the company is making as it seeks to reassert its importance in the social media sphere.
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