Twitter has come up with a new redesign of Twitter.com this week, with a two-pane format targeted at providing a richer user experience.
CEO Evan Williams says that “Twitter has always been about getting a lot in a little”. He also adds that “The constraint of 140 characters drives conciseness and lets you quickly discover and share what’s happening. Yet, we’ve learned something since starting Twitter—life doesn’t always fit into 140 characters or less.”
The first pane is importantly the single pane from today’s Twitter – the timeline. In the second pane, referred to as the “details pane” and the user will be able to see an additional info related to the author or subject of a tweet, when clicked. Things like @replies, other tweets from that user, maps, videos, photos, etc. will also be displayed in this pane. Users can click the @username to see profiles from the same page.
Alex Payne, the Ex-Twitter engineer, who left the company, had some interesting things to say about the new redesign of Twitter.com. “While Twitter has been growing in mainstream significance and popularity, it hasn’t managed to adopt a strategy that clearly aims the company towards mass market success,” he writes. “I think #newtwitter changes that, turning the site into a rich information discovery platform, if you’ll excuse the buzzword bingo. The new design is a pleasure to use, and encourages a kind of deep exploration of the data within Twitter that has previously only been exposed in bits and pieces by third-party applications. Browsing Twitter is now as rewarding as communicating with it.”
“One of the striking things about #newtwitter is how clearly it’s designed to allow room for advertisements and promotions,” adds Payne. “As an early employee who heard a lot of internal discussion about monetization strategies that eschewed the typical Silicon Valley ad play, Twitter’s accelerating turn towards that business model is, on some level, a little disappointing. But as a stockholder and someone who wants to see the company
survive and succeed, it’s clearly the most pragmatic way for Twitter to capitalize on its substantial and growing network. Ads have their role in the wheel of commerce, and just as Google’s text ads are more palatable than most forms of advertising, Twitter’s
approach could end up being eminently tolerable, even useful.”
The changes will be rolling out over the next several weeks as a preview. During this period, users will have the option to switch back and forth between the new design and the old one.
Last but not least, this particular redesign has some advantages. Firstly, many Twitter users are uses apps rather than Twitter.com anyway. Secondly, Twitter has left a lot of people wondering what the point of the service is which has been a problem since it launched; hence, this will help people understand its value more.