On Monday, Twitter started rolling out a redesign of its website, and the result is some major changes. Not only has the overall interface been given a long-needed makeover, you can now switch between accounts without logging out and reply to direct messages without navigating through multiple steps.
Of course, there's one thing that isn't changing: you still can't edit tweets. Never mind it's still the most requested feature in the history of anything, ever. Well, maybe not, but it is a glaring omission considering how many other changes the social network just made.
Still, the changes are actually pretty useful, and might even be worth giving the browser-based version of Twitter another look if you spend most of your time using a third-party app.
Which, let's be honest, is probably a big reason Twitter is investing in its Web interface at all. Most people use Twitter on their mobile devices, and often that means using apps made by third-party developers, which can make it harder for Twitter to show ads--which is how the company makes money.
Here's what's changing and why it matters to your business:
Overall interface redesign
Twitter in your Web browser now feels a lot like Twitter on your iPhone or Android device. In fact, most of the changes make desktop Twitter a lot more like the mobile app Twitter. The layout has been streamlined and feels less cluttered, though there's a lot more going on.
The navigation bar has been moved to the left side and more closely mimics the options in the mobile apps, adding access to many of the most popular features that help you more quickly find content.
This is actually one of the more useful features overall, and honestly, I'm not sure why Twitter didn't change this before. Previously, interacting with direct messages required opening them in basically a pop-up window. Now, you get a list of messages and can simply select the one you want, and it expands to the right.
The Explore feature from the mobile app is now on the website, which combines trending stories and hashtags, as well as live video. It replaces the "Moments" tab, which I never fully understood, especially since it wasn't consistent across both mobile and desktop platforms. Now, when you're looking for trending news, content, or interesting things that are happening on Twitter, it's pretty obvious where to go.
Bookmarks and Lists
I honestly have no idea how you accessed the tweets you bookmarked on the browser-based version of Twitter before now. I know I've saved a bunch when using my iPhone, but barely used the feature, since there was literally no way to find it on your desktop.
Now, both bookmarks and lists live in the side navigation, which means you can easily find the content you want to interact with. I'm still not a big fan of the lists feature, but if you find yourself keeping tabs on groups of accounts, at least now it's easier to do from within the Twitter interface instead of relying on third-party social-media tools.
Multi-user fast switching
Like the mobile app, you can know sign in to multiple Twitter accounts, which is especially helpful if you manage multiple brands, or simply want to keep your work and personal Twitter separate. Switching between accounts is also easier since you no longer have to log out first--instead just select the account from the sidebar and tweet.
If you're a fan of the dark side, you'll appreciate that you can now choose between really dark mode, or what Twitter calls "dim mode." While dark mode has been around on Twitter for a while, the new version also lets you choose from new color schemes along with changing the background.
I don't know what actual benefit dark mode provides, but if you have to stare at a screen monitoring social mentions and engaging with customers all day, I suppose it's nice to have some control of what you're looking at.