September 14, 2010 was a big day for techies and Twitter enthusiasts all over the world. A surprise announcement by Twitter co-founder, Evan Williams at the company’s San Francisco headquarters revealed the launch of a new Twitter. For the sites’ 160 million users this means a more user-friendly experience in 140 characters or less. Twitter currently uses a single-pane interface of streaming tweets; which doesn’t allow its users to do much more than the basic updates, re-tweets, replies and follows. The new design will feature an interactive second-pane that will give users additional information about the author of a tweet and @ replies which will make it easier to see the flow of conversation between users. What makes this second pane (or column) more interactive is its ability to view pictures or videos without having to click open a new browser. This functionality will allow users to navigate within the site and give them a more convenient browsing experience. The redesign is to make the site more modern and faster to navigate. The features that are currently hidden, like the search feature, will be more visible. The Search Engine Land website offers a very detailed overview and illustration of the new Twitter.
If you don’t have the new Twitter design yet, don’t worry. Williams announced the new design would be rolled out worldwide over the next few weeks. If you’re curious as to the look of the new design, TechCrunch shares screenshots of the design.
Check out the YouTube promo introducing the new Twitter.
The new design highlights a multi-pane view that allows you to click between tweets, profiles, hashtags, videos and other features. According to Evans, with more than 90 million tweets a day “You don’t need to tweet to use Twitter, it can be a great way to just get information.” The new design and functionality of Twitter will enhance the overall Twitter experience. In an interview with Gigaom, product manager, Josh Elman says the new Twitter will be similar to Google than Facebook. Users will continue to use Twitter for “quick visits” rather than lengthy sessions.
Advantages of the New Twitter
In an interview with the New York Times, Evan Williams said, “It’s going to increase the value that people are getting out of Twitter, so in less time you can get more information and value.” Evans admits that Twitter, as it exists now does not lend itself to easy navigation throughout the site. But Evans and Twitter’s engineers are optimistic that the new Twitter will change all of that, including increased income generating opportunities.
Twitter executives have made some efforts to create income for the popular social networking site. In April, 2010, Twitter announced it would begin running advertisements on the site to boost revenue. Through “promoted tweets,” users will see ads when they search for keywords that have been bought by advertisers. However; even with this revenue-generating effort, Twitter appears to be more practical than profitable. The new Twitter, according to Evans, will improve ads “because there’s going to be more real estate and more engagement,” as told to the New York Times. There is clearly more room for advertisements and promotions. And with 160 million users, this is appealing to advertisers.
Most Twitter users are familiar with the outages and the famous “Twitter is over capacity” message just as we’re trying to push out that important tweet. We don’t know whether the new twitter will eliminate the “whale factor,” and only time will tell. But with the updated features and functionality of the new Twitter, it should prove to be a more user-friendly Twitter experience.
Whether its keeping up to date on the latest social media platforms, re-tweeting or adding my own two cents about what users think their followers want to know, the truth of the matter is I already spend much of my time on twitter. The new twitter may compel not only me, but millions of users to linger on Twitter’s site just a bit longer. And with more than 90 million tweets a day, Williams says “you don’t need to tweet to use Twitter, it can be a great way to get information.” I’m very excited about the new Twitter and I anxiously await and look forward to the day I login and see my new twitter in full effect.