Twitter’s much-anticipated redesign launched last week, causing quite a bit of industry buzz. From new brand pages to embeddable tweets, the recent changes to the social networking site are major.
The new version enhances the way we use Twitter and just may bring users back to the platform rather than continue a mass exodus to third party apps.
Four tabs now give you all the information you want to see quickly and easily. The redesign should be rolled out over the coming weeks but mobile web visitors, Twitter for iPhone users, and Twitter for Android users can see the change now.
What are the major changes? Let’s examine them.
Navigating the Twitter platform as a user following or being followed by a large number of users is incredibly hard. Now, users are presented with a simpler design allowing you to quickly see Twitter stats, trending topics, and suggested users to follow. Although the new homepage is a slight improvement, it still isn’t as customizable as some third party apps.
Additionally, all the accounts you follow will show tweets more dynamically. Tweets expand to show more information – you can preview embedded photos or play videos directly in Twitter streams. This should keep more users on your Twitter profile and not bouncing off the site regularly to view photos or video.
@ Replies – Connect
Connect where the conversation starts – @ replies. The revamped @ connect tab allows you to see not only @ replies but also interactions.
“Track your impact across Twitter” by looking at the actions other people take related to you and your tweets. This feature reminds me of Google Ripples and can be used the same way – to help you find those influencers in your niche.
Find others talking about the same things you’re interested in with the Discover tab. As you use Twitter more, your Discover tab will be personalized based on what’s happening in the world, who you’re following, and your current location. Additionally, you can browse categories of interests, find friends, discover who to follow, and more.
A streamlined design, the new profile pages “put you and your interests front and center.” The change to “Me” or profile pages is mostly in the reorganization of the same information you’re used to seeing – tweets, followers, following, favorites, lists, recent images, and users similar to you.
The biggest changes to roll out are brand pages on Twitter – a much-anticipated addition. Rolled out to just 21 brands, the new brand pages have a lot of improvements over standard profiles or verified accounts.
The biggest change: the addition of customizable header images allows for more real estate to insert your brand logo, a promotion, or special. If you’ve ever tried to customize a Twitter background you know that it can be hard to make all information visible in such a small space. More space means more opportunities to brand your business.
Another change, and one of my personal favorites, is the embeddable tweet option. Now tweets can be embedded on web pages and in blog posts. This means automatic links back to your Twitter profile whenever someone embeds your tweets. Prolific tweeters who receive notoriety for their awesome tweets can now get an added bump in “link juice” by having their tweets embedded and linked to their profile.
Search API will now always return “real” Twitter user IDs. The with_twitter_user_id parameter is no longer necessary. An era has ended. ^TS
— Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011
Ever wanted to feature a specific tweet at the top of your brand’s Twitter page? Now you can with Twitter’s new brand pages. You can feature a particular tweet above your timeline, which auto-expands to show video or embedded photos in the tweet. This allows you to showcase your brand’s breaking news, special product, featured content, and more.
Lastly, branded pages will have the advantage of their @ replies and mentions separated for easier review. Tweets just mentioning the brand name will be separated from tweets directed at the brand. If you’ve ever managed a branded Twitter account you know that this separation can be key, especially if you have a lot of @ replies and mentions in a day.
All these changes certainly come as no surprise to Twitter users. The platform has needed a fresh update for a long time. The only questions is – are they enough?