Twitter's New Apps Put The Focus On Users: The Details

By Jonathan Charles | Sep 20, 2012 10:41 AM EDT

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On Wednesday, Twitter unveiled a complete redesign to its mobile apps, bringing a focus to user content. The changes move the Home, Connect, Me categories to the left of the screen.

First, Tweets are simplified: users can tap on a tweet to expand it and view included photos and videos, and a web page opens when tapping on links, in-app with the option to open in a browser. Photos also open full screen; the usual functionality of swiping left and right to move through photos, and pinch to zoom to enlarge, is also included.

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Similar to the cover photo on Facebook's Timeline, the profile page on Twitter is now displayed in full at the top of the page, above tweets. Also, a background header photo can accompany user profile pictures. Twitter announced in a blog post that the new profile pictures "help you to get to know people better through their pictures." Previously, users would just see tweets and have a small profile image as the only representation of a user.

The appearance of the Me page is also refreshed. Scrolling down from the profile at the top shows tweets and/or photos. Options to see followers, followed users, favorites, and lists are available. Twitter suggests other users with similar profiles, although what defines "similar" is uncertain. A function suggesting "Who to follow" is also included. The Discover tab now allows users to see popular stories within a "network," along with users followed and favorited by users "you know." Trending topics are also shown.

For iOS in particular, the changes are perhaps a catch-up to third-party Twitters apps like Tweetbot. The latter brought a focus on design with a different take than Twitter.

The updated apps for iOS and Android are available to download now for free.

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