The New Look Twitter

December 13, 20110 Comments
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Those of you who are active Twitter users will by now be aware that there is a new look to Twitter. The new look Twitter has an appearance that looks closer to Facebook than the old style Twitter’s text only format. Even before users sign in, they are presently with a glossy image which paves the way for a new more “picture-heavy” appearance to the site itself. Further tabs have also been added to the menu for users.

The new look Twitter has new navigation tabs on the top left of the page. These include a discovery tab, letting users tap into search results based on their personal interests, a home tab, and a connect tab. To the top right, after the Search option, is a new Tweet button and a more simplified way of embedding users’ photos and videos. Just like Facebook’s new timeline, everything is served up in columns.

Clicking the “Me” tab will reveal a much more expansive profile page where your followers can tweet directly to you and view your lists, favourites, followers and photos, almost in the style of a Facebook personal profile page.

In fact many critics are accusing Twitter of “having done a Facebook”. One such critic, but not the only one is Pluggedin.co.uk, a technology news, advice and reviews site operated in association with Comet, Stuff, T3, Tech Radar and What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, where an article posted on 9th December argues:

Twitter has gone and done a Facebook on us by updating and dramatically changing the look and feel of the website.

So far there has not been the barrage of whining and moaning that comes with every tiny change Facebook makes to its interface.

This is probably because the new-look Twitter is an improvement on the old design, and the new features add to the experience. As Twitter aims to attract more people and businesses to the site, they have gone for simplicity and aesthetics.

Twitter currently has around 100 million active users. Not bad, but when you see that Facebook is closing in on the billion-user mark, it is no wonder that Twitter wants more followers.

So gone are the cluttered pages and dark design, replaced by a sleek, simple design that is much more light and airy.

Old-hands may be a little put off by the rearranging of the homepage, but the navigation is basically the same. And where it might have taken a couple of sessions to get used to how Twitter works, noobs will now be able to pick it up much quicker.

And the homepage now has a much larger space for viewing Tweets, presumably to make the most of embedded pictures and videos.

This feature is also on the Me page (formerly your profile page), and lets you view content in a much more straightforward way.

Another interesting new feature is the Discover tab. This is basically the ‘Activity’ function version 2.0, and will show you a stream of Tweets and content that Twitter thinks match your interests. Rest of Article

It’s argued that these changes will make Twitter more accessible and that it will become a real challenger to Facebook, but that is a very big call with Facebook’s near 1 billion users dwarfing Twitter’s approximately 100 million active users. The main attraction of Twitter, namely the speed at which anything can be posted is unaffected, but like anywhere else, substantial change brings with it the risk of alienating existing users. Not every account has been uploaded to the new style Twitter, and some accounts seem to fluctuate between the old style and the new look Twitter, but the changes are due to roll out to all accounts in the coming weeks.

So if you are an existing Twitter user, will the changes put you off using Twitter, encourage you, or make no difference? If you don’t use Twitter will these changes encourage you to become a user. Do let us know by making use of the comments box.

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Patrick Clarke - 21st Century Business Entrepreneur (Social Media Business Professional, Online & offline business owner & founder). If you are a business owner or professional person looking to grow your business and get more sales or clients, or expand your network of connections, then I can help you. If you need help with your LinkedIn profile, have a "dead" Facebook Fan Page, need professional blogging articles or don't know how to use Google+ for your Local SEO Marketing, then get in touch. I would be pleased to assist. The results might astonish you!

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