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