Earlier today, Twitter released their fresh new user interface both on the web and on their mobile apps. After much conversation between my tweeps and myself, I’ve noticed some things we collectively like & some things we collectively dislike.

An Overview on the layout:

Its FAST! and shiny… it looks and feels new. That’s exciting!! : )

The app now features four very different menus at the bottom.

“Home”: Where your timeline appears – this is the least changed screen, but the way tweets appear is different. They kind of float over a background and that floating page has curved edges at the top until it updates with the incoming tweets from those you follow, then they appear to attach them to the page, squaring off the edges.

“Connect”: This is what replaced Replies. Now, this screen has a sub-menu. “Interactions” and “Mentions”. The former is a list of not only the tweets you’re mentioned in, but it shows you who recently followed you, favorited your tweets and listed you. This is a very nice feature to have on the mobile app. You can now instantly follow those who have followed you within moments of them following you.

“Discover”: This is where you’ll find all the other things you’ve seen added to the web version. Its my guess that this part was included to help us connect with things of interest. I do not know how these things are recommended, however. Stories, Trends, Who to Follow, as well as Find Friends and Browse Categories.

“Me”: This is where you can view your profile, Direct Messages, Drafts, Lists & Saved Searches. You can also Switch Accounts (if you, like me, operate a few more than just your primary Twitter handle), Settings and Help.

That was a brief rundown of the new layout. Like I said, it is quite new & it runs faster than the earlier version. I don’t know about you, but I noticed the older version would lag and sometimes crash once I had upgraded to iOS 5.0.1 – but that was then… this is now:

GOOD:

When I think of this, its tough to declare it as simply “good” because this is the primary feature I was hoping would be available to view for quite some time; the ability to see who retweeted me and who had favorited my tweets. Finally, I don’t have to wait 12+ hours to see that someone I truly appreciate had retweeted me the day before. It now appears in my “interactions” tab within the “Connect” menu as they push the retweet button or that little star. This makes me happy.

The app hasn’t crashed yet. And I don’t think it will (more on the power of positive thought later). There will be plenty of time to push the app to the limit, all while doing my best to avoid twail (twitter jail) – when you exceed the amount of tweets, follows, listings or some other data transfer/entry style things on the Twitter server.

This all new Twitter for iPhone app has been loading tweets much faster, sending tweets two steps quicker and guess what; I have not had one – not one – tweet “saved as draft” due to some error. That has definitely put a smile on my face simply because I save much more time now and don’t miss a ton of quality content scrolling through my tweetstream. There was a time when it seemed that every third or fourth tweet was “saved as draft” – and it was frustrating.

BAD:

We can no longer see if the profile we’re viewing is following us. That’s a big letdown in my book. I do my best to maintain a mutual network everywhere online. Facebook is the only site where its required. Google Plus and Twitter don’t require it, and I don’t think they should, but that’s not the point. The point is the last version showed whether they were following or not, this new one doesn’t.

URL shortener services are no longer an customizable option. I haven’t seen them anywhere within settings (where they used to appear). We can still choose our photo, video and our “read later” services, though. But back to the URL shorter… Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is still a 140 character limit on Twitter & yes, t.co is an URL shortener, but why not let us use is.gd or bit.ly or any other URL shortener of our choice?

Favstar is no longer featured. Given, the new app will tell you when someone stars (favorites) your tweets as soon as they do it, but there’s no way to view at all your favorited tweets or all your retweets for that matter. This is something I relied on. I was (and still am) in the process of archiving every tweet of mine that was retweeted since Twitter instituted the retweet button… now, it just got a whole lot more difficult to find all those tweets that were worthy of a retweet.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

Can we PLEASE (pretty please?) – I’m asking nicely – have the ability to search our timeline again? I really Really REALLY miss that feature. Especially when there was breaking news of interest like a sports injury or some traffic incident in your area it was much easier to search for that players name or the route/street name. PLEASE Twitter?

And another thing… WHY did Twitter put the Direct Message option within the same button as “Report for Spam” and “Block”? Could they not find someplace else to put it? Really? Why not just emulate the profile screen when I’m viewing my profile where it says “View Direct Messages” – can’t there be a simple “Direct Message” button on other profiles?

All in all, I think this app is an upgrade over the one it replaced, but I will not be entirely satisfied until I can search my timeline once again for specific content that I am seeking.

I’ll close it out with a tweet I received in a reply as I was working on this post.

“Trying to find a new Twitter app is like trying to find a new best friend. It’s hard, yo.” – @GuiltySquid

Thank you for reading.

_Billy Wichterman_

Two and a half hours after posting this, I logged into Twitter on the web and was welcomed to #NewNewTwitter
which is what has been trending today as the hashtag around this buzz. You see, just over a year ago #NewTwitter changed the whole layout of the site. A few updates since then allowed photos and videos to appear on the profile and within a tweet (without a click through to a hosting site). Twitter currently hosts all images uploaded on Photobucket.

One main new feature of #NewNewTwitter on the web is the ability to embed a tweet anywhere online.

Now… only if you could reply, retweet, favorite or share the above embedded tweet without leaving this page.

Added @ 2:15 PM 12/9:
I’ve taken four screen shots from my iPhone & am using the WordPress app to upload the pics. Curious how this will turn out & how I can adjust how they display.

20111209-141225.jpg

20111209-141235.jpg

20111209-141246.jpg

20111209-141302.jpg

Advertisements