Twitter to roll out new design, 'Discover' tab

Nathan Pensky · December 8, 2011 · Short URL:

Will Twitter's redesign be yet another pointless social networking update?

It seems Twitter didn't want to let Google+ have all the update announcing fun. Because like Google+, the wildly popular micro-blogging site announced Wednesday its own suite of new features to be implemented in "the next few weeks." Interestingly, the Twitter update is only available right now for mobile, for both iOS and Android.

So what will this rollout of new features actually entail? Actually the biggest change will be the layout itself. Simply put, things are going to look BIGGER, from profile pictures to the text in user bios. Also, whereas the current iteration of Twitter uses a "tab"-centric platform, where the page shifts between tabs on one page, for the new version shifting between functions will be more like changing the page itself.

Users will move between the different functions in the update via "buttons" as opposed to tabs. The buttons will all be lined up in a pretty row. From left to right, they are "Home," which is basically the existing Twitter feed, to "Connect," where users access the recently updated @-reply function, "Discover," which I'll describe below, "Me," the new profile layout, and "Tweet," a pop-out Tweet function.

Which brings us to those new goodies. One is the "Discover" function, which builds upon already-existing hashtags. Twitter's demo video for the update says that users will be able to filter their feed according to "their interests," so it may be that users can input a few choice hashtags and they will automatically show up in the "Discover" feed.

The other notable feature is pinable video, where video links appear within the Tweet itself rather than in a separate space.

And as one would expect, TweetDeck will be changed concurrent with scheduled updates.

"What we’re announcing today is just the beginning," said the company, via their blog post. "We now have a framework in place that we will quickly build and iterate upon to help users connect with whatever is meaningful to them."

Whether the new Twitter will deliver on the company's promise to "help users connect with whatever is meaningful to them" or just line itself up with a lot of the other constant, pointless updates in social networking remains to be seen.

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