Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Better Twitter

Last night, without warning, twitter started to roll out a new version of the site - as they put it in their blog 'a better twitter'.

I haven't got it yet - it's only available to a few users in the US so far - but from the description and video they have made it a lot more engaging and 'rich' than before.  It looks more like one of the apps like Tweetdeck, and can suck in other media like pictures and videos, in the way that Flipboard does.

These are the enhancements:

"New design. The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll -- you no longer have to click “more” to view additional Tweets.
Media. Now, it’s easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter, thanks to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.
Related content. When you click a Tweet, the details pane shows additional information related to the author or subject. Depending on the Tweet’s content, you may see: replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more.
Mini profiles. Click a username to see a mini profile without navigating from the page, which provides quick access to account information, including bio and recent Tweets."

While I don't think that there was anything wrong with the existing twitter, this will make it far more like Facebook, and far more accessible to more people.  Twitter always was an acquired taste - it took me more than a year to acquire it after I signed up - but this will speed their growth over the 200 million and beyond.

It will bring more people back to the site and away from the apps.  It will also make it far more influential, and open to brands and advertising, although I certainly don't expect twitter to adopt standard ad units like banners.

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