Friday, June 16, 2017

Twitter gives itself a major redesign - and its users aren't happy

Twitter has given itself a major redesign, inevitably inviting a torrent of complaints from its famously-opinionated users.

Updates to the social network's iOS and Android apps, website and TweetDeck service announced on Thursday including new fonts, bolder headlines, and new menus, not to mention circular profile pictures.

While this may seem totally normal, Twitter users are notoriously cranky and vocal about changes. A new algorithmic timeline introduced last year and a redesigned reply system in March both prompted an outbreak of complaints before we all calmed down and got used to them.

The changes Twitter is making on Thursday include:
  1. A font redesign including bolder section headlines, which Twitter says makes it look more consistent
  2. Circular profile pictures, instead of the square ones we have got used to
  3. A new profile section on iPhone, found by pressing your profile picture in the top left of the app instead of in the bar across the bottom
  4. A speech bubble instead of the curved arrow for replying to somebody and small changes to the like and retweet icons
  5. Live updates to retweet and like counts, so you can watch them go up in real-time on mobile apps
  6. Changes to how tweets with pictures are displayed when opened, making them full screen and including the tweet itself instead of just the picture.
Links to web pages opened through Twitter on its iOS app will also open in a version of Safari, instead of Twitter's own web viewer.

Twitter said the changes would be introduced over the coming days and weeks from Thursday, and that the redesign will make it faster and easier to use.

The new timeline and messages setting on iOS
The new timeline and messages setting on iOS

"Today, with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product too and making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better," said Grace Kim, Twitter's head of user research and design.

The backlash came thick and fast, with the hashtag #NewTwitter soon trending. The biggest complaint was that Twitter had not introduced a way to edit your tweets.

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