The New Twitter… A Few Things Still to Improve

The New Twitter… A Few Things Still to Improve

As some of you may have noticed, Twitter has a new UI (user interface). If you haven’t noticed, don’t worry, it’s not that you’re unobservant; Twitter is rolling this upgrade out over several weeks and not everyone has had the privilege of testing it out – much to some people’s dismay:

A New UI…

As part of the upgrade, there will be a new design where you’ll have all your @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists across the top of your timeline. On the right sidebar, you’ll find users you’ve recently started following and those who have recently started following you, your favorite tweets, where you’ve been listed, recommendations of who to follow, and trending topics.

At first, I thought this looked like a big jumble of links and info, but, after zooming my screen out, everything fell much more neatly into place. Now, I don’t have to scroll down the page to find any of these handy tools – they’re all right on the top half of the main page, which is nice and easy.

Multimedia Integration…

One of the things I’m most excited about, however, is the way Twitter’s made it easy to view embedded photos and videos without having to open up a new tab. Twitter’s entered into a whole bunch of partnerships to make this happen, include ones with YouTube, Flickr, TwitPic, and yfrog.

Quick Bio Info…

Another thing that’s really helpful and enables you to stay on the main page is the implementation of mini profiles. By clicking on a username in your timeline, a mini profile will pop up, replacing your right sidebar. This will have the user’s bio, account information, recent tweets, number of followers, etc.

That’s all great, but…

This upgrade is a great step forward that Twitter is taking… and funny to think when it first launched how many other tools everyone had to download to really optimize its functionality. Subraya sent out a funny tweet recently that captures this nicely:

Many are excited about the new UI and integrated features, but, for me at least, I think Twitter’s still missing a few key functions.

Better Lists…

I find it frustrating that the list feature won’t display the entire group – only the most recent tweets from people within that group. What if I wanted to find a person in a particular list that hadn’t tweeted in a long time? …Impossible. Displaying the full list’s members alphabetically on the right sidebar might be a good addition in the next upgrade.

Correspondence Trail…

Oftentimes, I want to see the last time I tweeted with another Twitter user, or, even better, a thread of all our correspondence. Sadly, this is not possible yet. Maybe soon?

Improve Search…

Sometimes I want to reference a specific tweet I sent, or someone else sent, from a while ago, but scrolling through all those tweets can take forever. Logically, you’d want to use the search function instead; however, I’ve often found that, even when I know the exact terms to search for, the tweet will not appear.

For instance, I recently wanted to reference Denis Dubie’s tweet that said she was leaving Network World and starting at CA in a blog comment, but even when typing in several of the key words I knew were in the tweet like “last day,” “CA,” and “NetworkWorld,” nothing came up in Twitter’s search! It took me forever to scroll through all of Denise’s tweets to find the one I was looking for. Bottom line… Twitter needs to improve its search.

Syndication Integration…

Many people use other tools like TwitterFeed to syndicate blog posts or site updates straight to their Twitter accounts. Wouldn’t it be great if we could manage all this straight from Twitter itself? This seems like an obvious one that Twitter should integrate soon.

Counting Clicks…

Link shortening services like keep track of how many times your short link has been opened. It’s great that Twitter keeps track of retweets, but keeping track of link clicks would be another great way to see how many people your tweets are reaching, or which tweets/links got the most attention. Maybe Twitter could incorporate an analytics tab.

To see what other people are saying about the new Twitter, check out the hashtag #NewTwitter. How do you like the new Twitter and what else do you think Twitter could improve upon?


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