On Tuesday, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams announced a new update to Twitter that's gradually becoming available to users across the country. This is the micro-blogging service's most ambitious overhaul yet, featuring a complete redesign and the ability to embed photos and videos directly to the site. Thus far, techies are loving it.
- Silences the Critics, writes Sarah Jacobsson Purewal at PC World: "Twitter... has been criticized for its Website that critics say is unreliable and lacks features similar to Facebook that allow the sharing of multimedia content with friends. The redesigned Twitter homepage addresses those concerns adding split screen on its front door with one side displaying tweets (140 character messages) and the other side consisting of a 'details pane' where photos and videos referenced in tweet updates are displayed."
- It Will Keep People on the Site Longer, writes Tim Bradshaw at the Financial Times: "The first thing that struck me about the new Twitter is that it goes on forever. Hopping onto the 140-character communications site and reading the latest tweets was always a risky endeavour, with so many potential distractions and jumping-off points. Now, before you even reach the bottom of the screen, the next batch of tweets is loaded, and you can just keep on reading - and reading and reading… If Twitter’s aim is to keep people on its site for longer, that’s certainly a good start."
- Twitter Wants to Follow the YouTube Model, writes Richard MacManus at Read Write Web:
Twitter's solution is to tell people like my family: hey, we know you're confused about why people want to "tweet" what they're doing during the day. But did you know that you can follow what Lady Gaga has to say, or see breaking news from CNN, or find out about breaking news before it hits the TV networks...
YouTube is perhaps a good example of what Twitter is aiming to become. The appeal of YouTube when it launched in 2005 was that people could upload their own videos to the Web. But nowadays most of its users just consume videos and aren't uploading them. Likewise, Twitter wants to be a place on the Web where people can consume the "tweets" of the small percentage of users who like to produce content. YouTube has translated this into a very successful web service, which far eclipses what Twitter has so far achieved.
- Renders Twitter Clients Obsolete, writes Jennifer Van Grove at Mashable: "The new web interface effectively makes Twitter desktop clients irrelevant in the long run. Because what’s the point of downloading software and running Silverlight or Adobe Air to engage with Twitter when there’s a brand new, multimedia-rich Twitter experience waiting for you inside any browser? ...The new experience is rich and nicely contained — gone are the days of right-hand navigation searches and unfriendly user profile lookups. Users can now simply tab through their timeline, mentions, retweets, searches and lists via the upper navigation options for fast access to practically everything Twitter has to offer."
- Twitter Needed This, writes Lance Ulanoff at PC Magazine: "Its open API turned out to be, potentially, one of the worst things Twitter ever did, primarily because they developed an API that lets people could build tools which make it possible to never, ever, visit Twitter.com. Like much of what Twitter has done recently, these changes are a call back home and a concerted effort to shove that API genie back in the bottle. For the first time, I think Twitter is ever-so-close to succeeding. Certainly for Twitter newbies they won't even know of these third-party outliers and the paltry functionality that was once Twitter.com."
- May Provide Room for Another Revenue Stream Too, writes The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal: "Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the new redesign -- as pointed out by the Times' Jenna Wortham -- is all the blank space in the right toolbar. That looks to me like a great spot for some ads."