What people are saying about upcoming Twitter redesign

Overhaul focuses on multimedia integration and two-panel look

The press and social media worlds are all a-flitter this morning over yesterday's announcement by Twitter that its central site is in for a major makeover that emphasizes stay-put multimedia and a two-pane view.

From the official Twitter blog:

The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll -- you no longer have to click "more" to view additional Tweets.  Now, it's easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter.

Twitter offers more detail here. The video (above) is almost entirely marketing art, but there is a demonstration of the new interface near the end.

Here's a look at what the Internet is saying about it.

Me first: Long overdue. While I do occasionally use the Twitter interface, its limitations have made alternatives - in my case, Tweetdeck - both irresistible and a drag on Twitter's ability to turn all those tweets into profits. Whether the new look and features will be enough to lure back users of third-party apps (never mind Facebook) and fuel Twitter's next growth spurt remains to be seen.

Peter Kafka at All Things Digital bottom-lines it for you:

Twitter's new Web site has lots of cool features and gizmos. But they're all supposed to do one thing in particular: They're meant to encourage you to spend more time on Twitter.com, where the company can show you some ads.

Jennifer Van Grove at Mashable sees trouble for the third-party apps:

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, media-rich Twitter experience waiting for you inside any browser?

Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb says the changes are not aimed at Twitter's power users:

Twitter is doing this because it has struggled to get normal everyday people to tweet. But there is hope for Twitter yet, because YouTube has proven that a Social Web service can have a consumption focus and still achieve mega success. Twitter is trying to take its site to YouTube's level of popularity.

The Twitter redesign makes the service more appealing to consumers, for example by integrating photos and videos. It also sports a sleeker look, akin to the iPad version of Twitter which launched recently to mostly positive reviews.

Fast Company's Dan Nosowitz expounds on the dual-pane view:

The new web app takes inspiration from the Apple iPad's native Twitter app, a two-paneled system. The right-side panel shows everything you'd want to access, helped along by Twitter's added support for a whopping 16 image and video uploading services. That means you can forget about opening links in new tabs or windows--Twitter's right-hand panel will take care of it all.

Click on a tweet, and you'll see a preview of a TwitPic image, a playable YouTube video, or an entire conversation (including the source of a reply, which is a nice touch that's been missing). It's a nice and succinct way to incorporate all this new information into a single place.

Technologizer's Harry McCracken notes the scope of the overhaul and picks at a few shortcomings:

I can't remember many - any? - examples of a popular service or piece of software changing so much all at once as Twitter is doing with its new redesign. ... In short, it moves in the direction that Twitter was clearly going in anyhow-but it's one big leap rather than a series of baby steps over months or years. And it still feels like Twitter.

There are certain things I don't like or - worse - don't understand. (For instance, the right panel shows different information for different hashtags, and if there's a pattern I can't spot it.) And the embedding of media takes so much of the mystery out of browsing around Twitter that cryptic short URLs such as Bit.ly links look even more cryptic than before. But after using it for a few hours, I'm awfully impressed.

And, of course, what they're saying on Twitter:

Agies: Not sure why I keep checking to see if I have the #newtwitter. I rarely use the web interface anyway.

primaveron : honestly with the #newtwitter, twitter becomes something completely original...FACEBOOK!

Ninjinian: I hope that there can be a button to switch back and forth from #oldtwitter to #newtwitter - right?

2degreesofalie: I barely understand old twitter!

The new Twitter is supposed to roll out over the next few weeks.

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