Those of us who use Twitter always welcome changes that improves the interface, while also making it easier to connect with like-minded individuals. So a few hours ago, Twitter rolled out its latest major redesign of their website, as well as brand new Android and iPhone apps. All in all, a pretty well planned execution by the microblogging service.
So what is new? The navigation has been simplified with 4 major buttons – Home, Connect, Discover and Me. If you are already a Twitter user these buttons are not a major change from the previous version, but it does contain a few great enhancements. For example “connect” (which has the familiar @ reply symbol) now also houses things like people who retweet you and new followers, not just mentions of your name as in the past. If you only want to see your mentions, there is still a button for that under Connect.
Under the Discover button you will spot familiar things like Trends, but with a lot more descriptive content. Instead of just a list of trending words, you will see a pretty good description or image of the trending topic. A whole lot easier than trying to decipher some trending topics. Under the Me button your profile page also has a brand new design, also displaying your interests, lists etc a lot more prominently on the left.
So what do we not like? It looks like Twitter is try to discourage direct messages to other users. DMs have been moved a layer deeper into the interface. But Direct Messaging has always been something of a niche function, with many new users not understanding the whole “the person you contact has to follow you” idea. But still – direct messaging has its place, and has in many cases replaced something like SMS.
If images dont seem to tell the whole story – here is pretty great video that was put together by the Twitter folks:
Overall these new changes will make Twitter a lot more understandable to new users, while also giving experienced users great new features. Most impressively, Twitter has managed to roll out the new web site and mobile apps all at once. It is pretty clear to see how important Twitter views mobile, and it is great indication to see how important social networks view their mobile users.
If you do not have access to the new Twitter web interface yet, just sign into your profile from any Android or iPhone that is running the latest version of Twitter. Tweetdeck has also been updated.