Twitter upgrades Followers/Following pages

Drop-down menus resemble Facebook menus without subtlety of design

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
July 1, 2009
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Announced in a brief blog post yesterday, Twitter has updated its site with a fresh design that fleshes out the kinds of actions users can take on their Followers or Following pages.

The pages can now be viewed in either “Expanded” or “List” mode. “List” is just that, a list of user names alongside real names, whereas “Expanded” shows user location and latest tweet.

In the new drop-down menu (to the right of user names), users can choose from a few courses of action. The most common options are “Mention” (which prepares a new tweet mentioning whatever user), “Unfollow,” and “Block.” For mutual followers, users can choose to send a “Direct Message.”newMenu

Though a simple user interface upgrade, the new design shows us that Twitter is trying to grant its users more capabilities and quicker courses of action, while keeping the site as simple as the question, “What are you doing?”

The social media startup might be able to learn a thing or two from Facebook, whose currently feature-packed pages evolved from years of offering users various avenues to personalization and privacy, all in an easy-to-use Web site. Drop-down menus on Facebook’s site that enable users to remove certain stories from the news feeds, for example, do not actually appear until the mouse rolls over the story.

These kinds of design innovations, simple in theory, add to the feel of a Web site tremendously in the long run.

Though Twitter has been experiencing increasing spells of popularity over the past few months, Facebook has been building its massive user base for many years now. As these small aesthetic similarities reveal, in tandem with more significant software comparisons, the two sites may be competing for the same market in the very near future. These are, at the core, Web sites devoted to connecting people through the ordinary workings of their lives.

But that's looking far ahead. For now, Twitter users will just enjoy the site's efficient upgrade.

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