In the world that is social media, never a day goes by where something doesn’t change. One day, Facebook introduces a new layout called Timeline; another day, YouTube rolls out editing features or an entirely new look.
This week, Twitter joins the ranks with changes and feature tweaks: specialized pages for brands, a new look on both their mobile applications for iPhone and Android devices and a much-needed addition: embeddable tweets.
Through branding pages, Twitter promises to provide businesses with customized header images, giving space for advertisers to prominently display logos and, more importantly, more space for taglines. Another cool feature: branding pages will allow for the ability to “sticky” tweets (i.e. pin a particular tweet so it doesn’t get lost in one’s timeline). These “sticky” tweets also expand when embedded photos or video from such sites as YouTube are included in a Tweet.
For both mobile and web users, their Twitter experience got much easier with a new, cleaner layout. Now, photos, videos and conversations are now embedded directly in Tweets so you can see everything in just one glance. Additionally, the new Twitter mobile interface has an updated menu bar (top for Android users, bottom for iPhone users), which features three new buttons labeled Home, @Connect and #Discover.
- Home — The main Twitter timeline
- @Connect — Displays who mentioned you and any of your recent conversations
- #Discover — Shows what’s currently trending and highlights notable stories, find friends and categories
- Me — Your personal profile page
(Author’s quick tip: swipe upwards while on “Me” tab for quick access to DMs and swipe left to switch accounts.)
By the way, iPhone users appear to no longer copy and paste from a tweet, which is a definite bummer.
Even TweetDeck users can rejoice – the software saw some subtle tweaks to improve performance, too. For instance, TweetDeck now defaults to Twitter’s URL shortener and Twitter’s photo services, includes a new search box function for robust search that replaces the “add column” and “quick profile” buttons and a much cleaner, user-friendly interface.
But wait — there’s more!
Twitter rolled out a feature for bloggers like myself that will make things not only easier, but enhance your user experience. The embeddable code allows users to follow a tweet’s author with a single-click, quick reply or retweet and favorite said Tweet without leaving the blog page. You will find this feature by clicking on the “Embed This Tweet” on a permalink page in Twitter’s new user page. Tweets on private accounts, however, won’t give you the option.
As recent history suggests when Facebook rolled out Timeline, people are usually unhappy when new features upset their comfort zone. But with these new additions to Twitter, it will make for a better, more user friendly, experience. And so far, Tweeps appear to be pleased, a definite win for the social media platform.