For the past several months, Twitter has been testing out a new and improved version of its desktop user interface. Select users have been doing this testing for Twitter, and have been providing the platform with feedback on their experience. Some of the new features in the Twitter desktop user interface were actually rolled out to selected users back in January, and their feedback was also evaluated before this general rollout was scheduled.
With the latest round of testing having been concluded, Twitter has finally announced that it’s ready to roll out this new user interface to all users of the platform. According to Twitter, the extensive testing which has been conducted on this new version was done in order to ensure that any new features included were a true reflection of how people actually use the platform.
With hundreds of thousands of actual responses from users testing the version, Twitter felt that they had gained valuable insights into platform usage, which then allowed them to align it with actual user interests. Many of the features are for convenience and for ease of usage, while others simply provide users with lots more fun in their overall experience on the platform. In any case, this reconstructed version of desktop Twitter, will probably have broad appeal to existing users as well as to newcomers. Here’s what you can expect to see when you make use of this new interface.
New user interface features
There are actually several major new features which you can count on making use of to enhance your desktop experience when using Twitter. The first of these will provide you with more content on what’s happening in the world. Twitter has brought Explore into the desktop realm, so that users can experience the same terrific content available in their apps. This means there will be more live video, and more coverage of local events which will be customized for each user, wherever they happen to be in the world.
Users will also find it much easier now to access their favorite features, since Profiles, Lists, and Bookmarks have been included right up front. Located at the side for easy access and identification, it will now be easier and faster for users to toggle between different tabs on the desktop. Users who are constantly messaging will love the fact that their direct messages are now all available in one place, and that direct messages have been fully expanded. This will allow users to send messages and view their conversations, all from the same screen, making it much more convenient and all-encompassing.
Anyone who has more than a single account on Twitter will really appreciate the fact that moving between accounts has been made much easier. You will now be able to switch between those accounts much more quickly, since they’ll be available through side navigation. This may be a real boon to business users who frequently have multiple accounts which they use on the platform, to reach specific audiences.
There are also more ways to personalize your instance of Twitter by applying different color options and themes, as well as two additional options for dark mode. If you happen to appreciate Dim or Lights Out, you’ll love these dark mode options now available to you. For those users who love to use emojis to express themselves, you’ll probably love the fact that whole new catalog of emojis has been included in this new release of the desktop version. Whatever it is that you happen to be feeling at any given moment, there will be an emoji you can use to convey that feeling to your friends and fellow Twitter users.
Why the user interface was revamped
A blog issued by Twitter’s engineering team has provided an explanation of exactly why the platform has adopted these new features, and why they felt it was necessary to more or less rebuild the desktop version for users. In this blog, it was stated that one of Twitter’s primary goals is to attempt to reach all users, and that the web apps have always been a primary factor in this approach.
Because they’re immediately accessible everywhere, by virtually all connected devices in the world, the web apps have tremendous reach and universality. However, the engineering team also discovered that it was very difficult to bring the desired features of Twitter to everyone on the web, because of the enormous base of users, and the tremendous variety of connected devices which were being used.
This then, triggered the rebuild of the desktop version, with the stated aim being to more closely align it with the functionality made available in the mobile version of the platform. The intent is to ensure that desktop users are not constantly being left behind when new functionality is made available. Twitter engineers have therefore adopted the approach where any new features which are developed, can be instantly integrated into either mobile versions or desktop versions with no obstacles to functionality.
While most users will probably notice the cosmetic changes before anything else, Twitter has also completely re-engineered the desktop version so that it can become better integrated with the mobile version. With back-end systems and processes enhanced in this way, it will be much easier to take the approach in the future where the engineering team can ‘write once, run everywhere’.
More on the rollout
As of July 16, all Twitter users should have access to the new desktop version which has been rolled out. While it may take a few sessions to get used to, it is expected that most users will quickly come to appreciate this new version and will adopt it as their preferred environment readily. This is a win-win situation for Twitter, because it provides users with a much enhanced version of their desktop experience, and it allows Twitter to synchronize its mobile and desktop versions. It will also allow Twitter to develop enhancements in the future which can easily be applied to both mobile and desktop versions with no extra integration efforts necessary.