Twitter gets prettier

Nov 09, 2010 · 2 mins read
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by Michelle Lentz

I’m presenting two sessions on Twitter in November at DevLearn, and I keep getting called upon as a local Twitter expert. (Now if only someone would pay me for this knowledge.) So I’m sensitive to Twitter changes. I don’t often log into the Twitter site – I primarily access Twitter via Twhirl. So I was rather surprised this morning when I logged into the actual Twitter site and found a rather nice redesign.

Most of the changes are rather subtle, and there are still things that I think they really need to add. The Twitter blog hints at an upcoming release with new features, so hold onto your fail whale. In the meantime, we have some cosmetic changes.

The biggest change seems to be that we no longer have tabs across the top. The tabs (@Replies, Direct Messages, etc) have been moved to the right column. In addition, your latest tweet now appears below the “What are you doing?” text box. According to the Twitter blog, clicking on a tab now results in Ajax-updating. What does that mean? It’s faster.

Twitter has also removed the Archive tab, and here’s why:

The reason is, it showed you the same stuff you see on your own profile page, it was oddly named, and people rarely used it. It didn’t deserve the space it took. If you miss it, hopefully you’ll get used to going to your profile page (which you can get to by clicking on your picture or the Profile link up top).

Your Twitter “stats” are now in the top of the right-hand column. These list your number of updates, number you’re following, and number of folks that follow you.

The favorites (star) and reply to (arrow) are now only available when you hover over each specific tweet. Twitter has also improved the overall look with tiny changes, such as rounding corners and lightening lines. Some of these changes can’t be seen in IE, but are viewable in most other browsers. If your customized Twitter design was a bit messed up in the makeover, you can now use their new Design tool to completely customize your home page.

I would love to have a direct link to Summize, er, Twitter Search on my Twitter home page as well, but maybe that’s coming. The Twitter blog makes it clear that these cosmetic changes are setting the stage for a bigger and better feature release. Let’s all cross our fingers for that and meanwhile, enjoy the redesign.

Contact Michelle with your news, apps, and events via email, Twitter, Pownce, or FriendFeed. Visit Michelle at and Write Technology.