Review: New Twitter Is Here

Last week I wrote about the new interface design for Twitter. Today Twitter posted that it’s slowly pushing out the new Twitter to random users. The pinglio Twitter account was one of the lucky chosen ones. I created the pinglio account a few months ago. My personal account still hasn’t gotten the push and I’ve had it since early 2008. So when they say random they mean random. Before we begin… my overall impression: I could easily get use to this. Okay, just wanted to get that out of the way. Let’s start with the user experience.

User Experience

When you first log into the new Twitter, you have to opt in to start using it. A banner will appear right under your bookmarks toolbar that looks like this:Go ahead and click the Try it now! button. Don’t worry all you skeptics, you still have the option to go back to the old Twitter if your heart desires. The very next thing you see is a welcome message briefly explaining how to view third party content in the right column:

So those are the first two things that will happen. Now let’s get into the details of the new Twitter.

Look & Feel

  1. Two columns. Left column contains tweets of who you’re following and right one contains content of selected tweet
  2. Left column also contains tabs of Timeline, @Mentions, Retweets, Searches, Lists above tweets
  3. Retweets tab allows you to search Retweets by others, Retweets by you, and Your Tweets, retweeted (that’s a mouthful)
  4. New tweet drafting button in upper right corner just like the Twitter for iPhone app (in addition to the standard What’s Happening? box)
  5. Settings page is still the same exact boring page (I’m hoping this will eventually get updated)

Functionality

  1. If no tweet is selected, the right column displays an overview of your account (followers, following, trends, latest tweet)
  2. If tweet is selected, displays who retweeted the tweet, who’s mentioned in tweet, who replied, media (pictures, videos, maps, etc), location of tweet, and more
  3. Automatic refresh of tweets and followers/following lists as you scroll down
  4. Saved searches: search something and save it to access it later
  5. Popup windows for composing a new DM
  6. Navigation bar at the top allows for easy access to Home, Profile, and Messages
  7. Vertical scrolling scrolls the left column by default unless the right column is clicked

These are just some of the few new features and functions I’ve noticed. I didn’t want to go too far into detail (there’s a lot of small changes). I just wanted to give a general idea of the new Twitter. I’m sure there are many more changes I haven’t come across yet. Overall, I really like the new Twitter and will definitely be using it. I took a screenshot of some side-by-side comparisons of the old Twitter and new Twitter (Home and Profile). Take a look below.

Hopefully you’re not sick of the words “Twitter” and “tweet” yet. If you have access to the new Twitter, share your thoughts with us in the comments. If you’re still waiting (like my personal account is), do you think new Twitter has met or exceeded your expectations?

Patrick is the founder and editor-in-chief of pinglio. He works as a system administrator and studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He currently lives in Chicago with his girlfriend and two dogs.