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Introducing the New Twitter

Say goodbye to the Twitter you know and love (or hate). Yesterday evening Twitter announced its plans to launch a faster, easier, and richer version of its web interface. The re-engineered Twitter is currently only accessible to a small percentage of registered users, but will roll over the next several weeks. Click here for a two minute introduction. Let’s take a look at what’s new:

  • New Design: The new Twitter sports a streamlined appearance that results in a much cleaner look and feel. The Twitter timeline remains, but is now accompanied by a sidekick: the “details pane.” The dynamic duo takes the divide and conquer approach with the timeline occupying the left half of the page and the details pane occupying the right. By splitting the Twitter interface into two, user can now view more information at any given moment, significantly adding to the impact of individual tweets.
  • Media: The new Twitter.com plays nicely with multimedia. Users will now be able to embed videos and photos directly on Twitter. Want to watch the Bed Intruder song without ever having to leave the comfort of your own timeline? Now you can. It’s a piece of cake. All this is possible thanks to Twitters partnerships with DailyBooth, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfron, and Youtube.

  • Related Content: Click a tweet and you’ll be rewarded. Selecting a tweet reveals relevant information about the tweet’s author or subject in the detail’s pane. Depending on the tweet’s content, you may see @replies, other tweets by the same user, a map showing the location of a geotagged tweet, multimedia, and more.
  • Mini Profiles: Account information, including bio and recent tweets, can now be accessed by clicking a username without navigating from the page.
These new features are a big change for Twitter, especially considering how the Twitter of yesterday allowed nothing more than 140 characters. The new Twitter is now poised to become a wildly popular multimedia destination rather than a redirection center for videos and photos. On top of that, the added functionality of the web interface has begun to incorporate features that third-party applications previously used to differentiate themselves from the web interface. In many instances, Twitter now does what third-party applications do, but better. It will be interesting to see how users react and how developers respond. So what do you think of the new design and features?
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