The New Twitter is a Huge Leap Forward

15th Sep, 2010

I was always surprised at how clunky the older version of Twitter was, having to navigate away from the main focus of the site – the stream, in order to check direct messages or tweets mentioning your name. It felt messy and disjointed. I was also surprised to see Twitter allow 3rd party developers build applications, such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, that made the Twitter experience much more user friendly than that at But the new service, which is being rolled out as I type looks much easier on the eye, with the more information in rich media content and user information all located on the one screen.

It does put the focus back on for the average user and almost negates the use of the 3rd party applications to access the service. All good for Twitter as they seek to monetise their service, and that is really only possible if traffic is routed through and not another service. How the 3rd party developers feel about this is another matter. They have played a part in bringing Twitter to the stage its at now by designing a better interface. Many of the best points of these (and more) have been incorporated into the new

From the Twitter blog, here’s some of the highlights:

  • New design. The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll — you no longer have to click “more” to view additional Tweets.
  • Media. Now, it’s easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter, thanks to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.
  • Related content. When you click a Tweet, the details pane shows additional information related to the author or subject. Depending on the Tweet’s content, you may see: replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more.
  • Mini profiles. Click a username to see a mini profile without navigating from the page, which provides quick access to account information, including bio and recent Tweets.

Here’s a video released yesterday that explains the new services.

I really like the look of the new Twitter and if anything its going to deepen users engagement by adding more media and information. With more media formats being supported in stream we are going to see more opportunities for advertisers. But, some of the best marketing on Twitter so far has only taken advantage of its real time stream and 140 character messages, and users to spread the message – without having to ‘pay’ for promotion. The addition of new elements to the service will provide web savvy marketers with more possibilities for inventive marketing solutions both free and paid for.

Facebook V Twitter

Some commentators have remarked on this change bringing the service more into line with the likes of Facebook. And I’d have to agree, I do have one worry for Facebook though. What I enjoy most about both is the real time stream of information. Links, photos, videos etc. being posted. Twitter is better at meeting that need for me than Facebook, and this change could propel Twitter further ahead in that respect.

Facebook, as a company, are all about mapping the web based on social activities such as likes, expanding off Facebook online and offline. Twitter, for now at least, will provide an instant source of news and fresh content based on not only friends, contacts, work colleagues, but those outside my social graph, not only celebs, sports stars and thought leaders, but also the average guy on the street who’s ‘tweet’ gets re-tweeted across the world, by unknown bloggers and individuals who have something interesting to add. It makes the twitter network much more fluid, dynamic and open. Which, for me, puts Twitter one step above Facebook.