A few weeks ago, Twitter announced it was redesigning the way we’d interact on its website, making it easier to use and allowing us to get “more out of Twitter in a lot less time.” (Check out Mashable’s play-by-play piece for more detail on the actual roll out).
Slowly, our staff has been granted access to the new format as it progressively rolls out to the more than 160 million Twitter users (I feel honored, Twitter, really, I do). Having had access to the redesigned look for a week or so now, I’ve found the new layout seems really familiar to some of the desktop and web-based applications that many of us in the office already use to monitor the social media space for our clients (CoTweet, HootSuite, TweetDeck, Seesmic, etc.). Side note rant: Can anyone tell me why these application developers are against having spaces in their application names? Yeesh, show the space bar some love!
Through the new design, which features a preview window on the right of the newsfeed, viewers can access additional information without leaving the current page (a huge bonus for those of us with a bit of a short attention span) among other functionality improvements. You can view more detailed information on a person’s profile, view a video or photo, or see a conversation between two users side by side.
So, was this Twitter’s way of capturing back some of the audience that’s using been using these third-party applications? Absolutely (see San Diego’s own Jennifer VanGrove explore that theory in her Mashable post earlier this month)!
But the real kicker is the expanded content opportunities. Twitter has partnered with 18 separate content-providing sites – including Etsy, Flickr, Plixi, TwitPic, Twitvid, Vimeo, Yfrog, and YouTube to name a few – that will allow this content to be viewed within the new preview pane without leaving Twitter.com, similar to the functions in most desktop and web-based interfaces.
Some of the best news? Unlike the recent Facebook overhaul, my initial exploration (post if you see differently) found the customized Twitter backgrounds we’ve created for our clients maintain their integrity within the new design.