Just slightly over one month ago, Twitter released one of its most significant redesigns yet for both its desktop and mobile apps. In this post we will review the major changes and how things look one month out.
Design Changes – An Effort to Improve Usability:
Twitter stated that the December redesign meant most to individuals in terms of usability. As Facebook and Google+ made announcements around the same time emphasizing layers of new features and functionality, Twitter chose to highlight its simplicity.
The first and most obvious change was the reversal of the tweet stream (now on the right side) and the profile and trending information (now on left side). Perhaps a little disorienting at first, by now users are most likely accustomed to the new ordering.
To create an immediate visual understanding, all key functions were represented with new symbols:
Home: The streaming base of all your followers’ tweets and mentions.
Connect: A single location where you can view @mentions of you and new followers. You can also search for @usernames here.
Discover: A new addition, view streamed “Stories” or trending topics, and search for #hashtags or keywords.
Profile: Same information, but different layout here.
Additional Functionality – Targeting Marketers:
Alongside the redesign, Twitter also included several new features—some yet to be fully rolled out to all users.
Embeddable Tweets: With a single line of code, users will be given the ability to embed a tweet on website pages. Visitors to the page will be able to take action without leaving the page by replying, retweeting, marking it as a favorite, or following the profile.
Brand Pages: Bigger news for companies, the announcement of the new brand pages was coupled with major launch partners including American Express, JetBlue, and Nike. In the American Express example below, you’ll see that there is more room for customization with the addition of a graphic below the profile information, a larger profile image, and the ability to promote a single tweet at the top of the main stream.
Promoted Trends/Accounts displayed: Slowly adopting a monetization strategy, promoted trends and accounts have been added to the left hand side and highlighted with a yellow arrow. Promoted trends and accounts are paid for by Twitter’s advertising partners and now displayed for all users. If a promoted trend is clicked on, all related tweet results will display for that topic, but a promoted tweet of the paying advertiser will be shown above all others.
Ads on mobile: Another marketing implication, Twitter announced that the mobile application would be supplemented with a paid advertising platform.
Images/Videos to display within tweets: No longer a link away, the platform becomes more visual with images and videos directly displayed within tweets.
Overall Twitter has seen a relatively smooth and positive transition for such a substantial redesign. It will be interesting to see how the effort to be more accessible affects new user growth in the coming months. Stay tuned!