On Monday, I received a message from the short and simple message from the Twitter team, "You are invited to attend a special event at Twitter HQ tomorrow afternoon, RSVP Yes or No."
I had just finalized my travel from San Francisco to New York and thought for a moment, that it might be worth reconsidering. The message could only mean one thing, Twitter was going to announce something new and given that they don't usually host live conferences for just any new feature, it would carry a level of importance that would see the likes of tech's top press and industry leaders in attendance.
Indeed, what Twitter announced was historical in its short timeline of rapid evolution.
Welcome to The New Twitter - #newtwitter
Even though I was traveling, the team turned on access so that I could share with you what's in store for you new and "enhanced" experience. What you see below is currently in the process of rolling out to everyone over the course of the next several weeks. By the time you read this, you may already find a special alert at the top of your browser inviting you to click to try the "new Twitter."
Let's start with why.
Twitter states that its over 145 million registered users tweet and retweet. What's more, Twitter.com and m.twitter.com account for 92% of all access and communication. A change to Twitter.com was imminent to grow the footprint of social media's favorite little giant.
Whether or not you agree with the total number of registered users vs. users actually using the service, what's tenable is that Tweets are on the rise. Twitter reports that over 90 million Tweets
What's worth noting from the onset is that Twitter is switching to a two-column dashboard. For users of Twitter's app on the iPad, the New Twitter may already look familiar. This is a significant change as it completely expands your existing Twitter.com perspective.
As Co-Founder Evan Williams explains...
Twitter has always been about getting a lot in a little. The constraint of 140 characters drives conciseness and lets you quickly discover and share what's happening. Yet, we've learned something since starting Twitter-life doesn't always fit into 140 characters or less.
Today, we're introducing a new, re-engineered Twitter.com that provides an easier, faster, and richer experience.
The New Twitter starts with a shift in design principles designed to keep your eyes on the stream without straying to far from the flow. Everything now starts on the left, but also expands to the right in a new panel that expands your view.
For example, when visiting the new home page, you're immediately greeted with the new format.
Integration and elegance are at the forefront of New Twitter. Looking at the stream, you'll notice various icons on the right side of the Tweet where applicable. These keys allow you to view the various rich media elements on the right panel without leaving the page. Essentially, you can now view embedded photos, videos, and location directly on Twitter.
This expands the view to the right column
View images and video in the new panel
See the location of where the Tweet originated