It may not make the biggest splash in the world of tech news, Twitter is slowly rolling out a redesign of its browser page. While there are undeniable differences between the new look and the old look, one does have to wonder about the reasoning behind the change—and whether or not that change has any effect on the way you use the service.

The new design first came to my attention when BestTechie editor Jeff Weisbein asked me if Twitter in my web browser looked any different than normal. This is what I saw:

 old-twitter

And then he sent me a screenshot of his in-browser Twitter page:

 new-twitter

Then, of course, while I was working on this post, Twitter went and confirmed it:

Now that it’s official, let’s go over the differences. As you can see, the top bar of the page has shifted from its classic black color scheme to white. Also different are the icons to look at your own profile, to write new Tweets, and to check and send direct messages. All of these changes are really subtle, but, as Twitter’s announcement explains, they’re all the same icons that I’ve found in recent updates to my mobile Twitter App for Android. I particularly like the new Direct Message icon, communicating the idea of chatting by aping the features of a cartoon’s speech bubble.

The new design also adds a little blue Twitter bird icon to the middle of the top bar, replacing the dark, shadowy one. I asked Jeff what it did, and he told me that it had a little animation when loading a new tab. That got me excited, so I asked if the bird started flapping its wings. Sadly, all it does is produce a little clockwise loading circle icon, just as it does with the old design. LAME.

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All in all, the redesign isn’t huge, but it is nice, and might help folks who’ve grown accustomed to the mobile app more easily navigate Twitter on the web. That said, I use a third-party Twitter application on my PC since I kind of hate using Twitter in my browser in general—so it remains to be seen whether most users who also use applications will even notice.

Lastly, Christina Thiry, communications associate at Twitter, just replied to my email inquiry as I was finishing up this post to tell me that the company expects the redesign “to be available for everyone in the coming days.” Keep your peepers peeped for the new-style Tweets.


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