After testing a new version of its desktop UI with selected users over the past few months, Twitter has this week announced that it's now rolling out the updated Twitter.com experience to all users.
As you can see from the video, the new Twitter for desktop includes a range of updated features, including:
- More of What’s Happening - We’ve brought over Explore to bring you the same great content found in our apps; expect more live video and local moments personalized for wherever you are in the world.
- Easy Access to Your Favorite Features - Bookmarks, Lists, and your Profile are right up front and have their own spot on the side navigation, making it easier and faster to jump between different tabs.
- Direct Messages All in One Place - Direct Messages have been expanded so you can see your conversations and send messages all from the same view.
- Login, Logout Struggle No More - Whether you have one profile or a few, now you’re also able to switch between accounts faster, directly from the side navigation; your stan, foodie and cat meme accounts thank you.
- Make Twitter Yours - The love is real for dark mode themes Dim and Lights Out. You’ve asked for even more ways to personalize Twitter so we’re bringing you different themes and color options, along with two options for dark mode.
As noted, the new desktop UI was first rolled out to some users back in January - if you were among that initial test pool, you would have seen a notification like this:
Aside from the cosmetic changes, which will initially be what stands out, Twitter's also working to improve its back-end systems and processes to ensure that its desktop and mobile experiences are better integrated, and inclusive for all users.
Over on the Twitter Engineering blog, Twitter's technical team provides a more in-depth explanation of this approach, including an outline of why Twitter chose to re-build its desktop version:
"One of Twitter’s goals is to reach everyone everywhere. Twitter’s web apps are critical to making this happen. They don’t require installation and are immediately accessible by almost every connected device in the world. The open web has unparalleled discoverability and reach. However, the Twitter web team found it difficult to deliver on the promise of bringing Twitter’s features to everyone on the web due to our large user base and the variety of devices they use."
That prompted the desktop re-build - which is, indeed, exactly that. Twitter says it started all over again with its desktop site, with the new version being more aligned with the functionality of the more complex mobile version. Twitter's aim is to align with a "write once, run everywhere" approach, which will ensure that all functionality is available on any version of the platform, meaning desktop users don't get left behind with new tools.
In my own experience (I was part of the initial January test pool), the new desktop version is an improvement, and while it takes a second to get used to, I found myself reverting to the newer version fairly quickly, and haven't looked back.
Oh, and one other thing...
A small visual feature addition to also check out.
The new Twitter.com will be available to all users from this week.