New Twitter Features Improve Usability

Posted on August 11, 2011 by bevelwise

New Twitter Features Improve Usability

Not to be left in the shadows of the attention that Facebook and Google+ have been getting recently; Twitter has been busy rolling out changes this week. New platform transition, new activity stream, new @username stream, new share an image feature… new, new, new is always the trend in the world of social media.

New Twitter Transition Complete

The first change has been an anticipated one. As of Monday, August 8, Twitter will no longer offer the option of using its old interface. Although the “new Twitter” first became available in September 2010, users still had the option of accessing the old platform up until now. Changes include a new design with @mentions, retweets, searches and lists immediately above your timeline on the left side of the screen. When you click on a profile or hashtag, rather than being directed away from your timeline to a new page, you see the information on the right side of the page. This was a much welcomed change as it allows you to seamlessly maneuver between your timeline and those that you’re following. With the transition officially complete, everyone’s Twitter experience is now on the same page.

New Activity Stream

When Twitter was created in 2006, the whole concept was based off answering the question “What’s happening?” with a to-the-point, 140 character update. Keep things clear, keep things concise, keep things easy. As social media’s popularity grew, users began utilizing platforms in more complex ways and in turn they continued (and still continue) to grow and develop. The newest Twitter development comes from users wanting an easier way to interact as well as monitor interactions, similar to how you are able to use Facebook.

With Twitter’s new activity tab, you can easily view recent retweets, follows and favorites from the people you follow in one streamlined place. This will more than likely make Twitter more intuitive to use, especially for new and “mild” users. You are also able to follow users directly from the activity stream, making the feature even more seamless.

New @username Stream

The new @username stream is similar to the new activity stream, except it highlights only interactions that your profile is involved with. This includes @mention tweets to you, your tweets that have been favorited, your tweets that have been retweeted, users that followed you, lists you have been added to, and more.

Rather than having information that is relevant to you spread thin in many different areas, you can now view it all aggregated in one real-time stream. This makes your time spent on Twitter much more efficient and integrated.

Share an Image Feature

Finally, Twitter added a small, subtle feature that will make a big impact to the ease of posting media rich tweets. Instead of having to use an application such as Twitpic, you can now add photos that are less than 3MB to your tweets with an “add an image” button found directly below your tweet.

Twitter Share An Image Feature

This feature seems long overdue as Twitter has always relied on (and received criticism for) third-party application services in order for users to post images. In any case, it is another much welcomed feature to Twitter’s ever-changing platform.

Changes Coming to a Profile Near You

Apart from the share an image feature which is currently available to everyone, Twitter is making these changes available to a small set of users starting today. They will continue to rollout the changes to everyone else over the next few weeks. It should be noted, however, that as of now these changes are only available on and not on mobile devices.

Have you tried it out yet? Let us know what you think!