The New Twitter

By Elyssa Dolinger on October 8, 2010

By Elyssa Dolinger on October 8, 2010

Twitter is in the process of rolling out its new design. Everyday I see people rejoicing or lamenting the new design. But what are some of the new design perks? I present a smattering of the new Twitter features. I doubt that I’ve found every gem, but this should give you an idea as to what the new Twitter is like.

They’re finally implementing some of the conveniences that third party applications have been providing. It may be too late to bring people back to the browser, but it sure can’t hurt to try.

The first thing you might notice is that the sidebar got huge. At first it was a turn off to have two equally sized viewing panes, but soon enough the reason for the right side’s expansion becomes clear. Added functionality. Everything you love about Twitter is still there. Well, maybe except the background. A measly 40 pixels of safe area is left on either side, though, if your browser supports, the right side bar should be semi-transparent.

Twitter now even has a favorite tweet button. To choose a tweet to “favorite,” hover over the tweet you like. An option with a star and the word favorite next to it should pop up. Click it and the tweet will now feature a gold half star on the corner, as well as be listed on your right panel under the favorites option.

Retweeting? A two-shade green retweet label appears in the upper left corner of a tweet that has been retweeted. The number of times it has been retweeted is listed as well as a parade of mini icons of users that have retweeted by you.

Click on a tweet and the right side panel changes. It now holds all kinds of useful information about tweets that you never knew that you never knew you needed to know. It can embed certain video and image links which is handy when it works. You can even see where tweets were made if tweeters want to be stalked.

If someone is mentioned in the tweet, it gives an abbreviated profile and link to their account as well as other tweets mentioning that account. If there are any replies to that tweet, they are listed in the side bar. Same deal for hashtags.

The new sidebar makes it easier to follow conversations, but you’d better hope you can find the first tweet. It doesn’t seem smart enough yet to track back to the first tweet of a convo.

Above all the tweets, the tabs at the top help navigate some new and old options, one of which is the ability to save searches. Also, when you search, you’ll have the option to filter for only those tweets with links or only those close to your location.

All in all it was a nice effort, Twitter. But I’m staying with my third party application, TweetDeck. (Though I have to admit, the keyboard short cuts, including “.” to refresh, are pretty sweet.)

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