What Businesses Need to Know About Twitter's New Desktop Layout
You might have recently noticed a new graphic prompt in the sidebar of your Twitter account on desktop.
The graphic is practically exploding with excited, brightly colored emojis, while the copy teases a range of new features. This prompt is not being shown to all users, so you may not have it. But if you do, you can click on the “take a look” button and it'll redirect you to the new Twitter desktop layout as part of expanded testing of the latest and greatest the platform has to offer.
So what kinds of features can individuals, and those running Twitter business handles, expect to find? Let’s take a look at what’s coming next to “New Twitter.”
The revised home page is the first major change you'll notice when you switch over to the updated Twitter account.
As you can see from the example, it's a bit cleaner. Trends and suggested people to follow have been moved to the right-hand side of the page, while content from accounts you follow is on the left side, and has been given more focus. Account-specific information - such as who you follow and who follows you - is now stored in a drop-down menu, as opposed to being up front.
As I've uses the new Twitter layout from my business Twitter handle, I've found I enjoy the changes more and more. For example, I like how the images used in my tweets are kept in the top right-hand corner of the page. Previously, they were stored further down in the left-hand sidebar. Notifications, messages, and explore options are still at the top of the page, but the overall interface looks wider and tidier, and puts more focus on interaction.
Data Saver and Night Mode
What do these two tools do and where can they be found? If you click on your Twitter handle’s drop-down menu and scroll down the page, you’ll find the option to turn on Data Saver and Night Mode at the end of the page.
When Data Saver is selected, Twitter uses less mobile data - this is the ideal tool for mobile users frequently on the go.
Night Mode swaps out the extra white space with black (and will soon be made darker, according to reports). It's easier for the eyes to adjust to during the evenings - or getting back into the daily grind on Monday mornings.
Much like you would save your favorite articles or posts you plan to read later on Chrome browsers, bookmarks makes it easy to save tweets to read later. Click on the tweet and choose “add tweet to bookmarks” under the drop-down menu. And in the new layout, you can now access your bookmarked tweets in the 'Account Information' drop-down menu of your page.
Keep in mind that bookmarking a tweet is not the same as liking or retweeting it - a tweet won’t receive a notification that it was bookmarked. Subsequently, once you've finished reading the bookmarked tweet you may opt to “remove tweet from bookmarks.” This enables you to clean up your bookmarks section quickly, and stay on top of news you need to know.
Where Did Analytics Go?
Analytics, which could previously be viewed in the sidebar of the Twitter home page, are stored under the handle’s 'Account Information' drop-down menu in the updated layout. You can still view tweet activity and audience insights, however the accounts home page is now a bit more detailed.
Over the course of the month, you can easily access your top tweet highlights, mentions, and followers. Scroll down on the page a little and you’ll also be able to see how your previous months on Twitter shaped up.
Should I Switch to the New Twitter Desktop Format?
The nice part of new Twitter is that the features aren’t quite ready to go yet - you can make the switch, but you’ll still return to the old template every time you log out. The new features also have no impact on scheduling sites, like Hootsuite.
Should you make the switch? I recommend testing it out and playing around with the new features before they go live for all, if you can. The sooner you’re able to get in and understand how the features work, the quicker your usage will acclimate to the changes.
Follow Deborah Sweeney on Twitter