by Kristin Burnham

Twitter to Kill Older Interface “Very, Very Soon”

Jun 24, 20113 mins
Social Networking AppsTwitter

Twitter is migrating all users to "the new Twitter" platform imminently. If you haven't already switched, here's what you need to know.

Back in September 2010, Twitter launched an interface redesign with features it touted as “faster, easier and richer.” Among those changes were a two-pane interface, embedded media for pictures and video, and continuous scrolling—one of my favorite features of the redesign.

I’m a fond user of TweetDeck. I find it a lot easier to view and consume updates using the dashboard rather than the site, so the interface upgrade didn’t matter much to me. It was encouraging, however, to see Twitter finallytrying to regain some of its users who flocked to third-party apps.

Those who regularly visit and use generally responded positively to the upgrade, most likely because it gave users the choice to switch to “The New Twitter” or to continue using the old interface.

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A tactic, ahem, Facebook surely could benefit from.

But now, nine months after launching the new Twitter, the microblogging site posted an alert at the top of its page announcing to users of the old Twitter that they will be upgraded automatically “very, very soon” to the new Twitter.


Quite frankly, I’m surprised the site maintained two versions of Twitter for that long. And while there’s no indication of what Twitter means by “very, very soon,” it’s certainly in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the new Twitter now, so you’re caught up when the switch is made. Here’s a quick rundown of the basics.

Two-pane interface. You’ll see that the new Twitter maintains much of its simplicity, with streaming updates on the left side. On the right, you’ll see a visibly larger reorganization of information, such as your followers, who you’re following, favorite tweets, lists, trends and suggestions for people to follow. The home screen is easy to navigate and is organized a lot better than the old Twitter.

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Embedded media. Clicking on a link to a TwitPic, for example, would open the picture in a new tab. With the new Twitter, the image will open inline on the right-side column, so you don’t have to navigate away from the site in order to view it. Same goes for video.

Continuous scrolling. Gone is the button that loads more tweets. Instead, the page populates automatically with more as you scroll down the page.

Many of the more minor tweaks are fairly intuitive.

What do you think about the switch? Long overdue, or do you like having the option to stay with an interface you’re used to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.