Twitter recently made some changes to the website, TweetDeck, and its mobile apps in attempts to make the Twitter experience easier for the user, old and new. It will roll out slowly over the next several weeks. It remains to be seen whether or not users will embrace the changes, or despise them, as is often the case whenever Facebook makes changes (which seems to be monthly.) To force the changes on your home PC, simply log in using the mobile app.
Why? To Make Things Easier
Three buttons will now appear at the top of the page (Home, @Connect, and #Discover). Home will be familiar to Twitter users, the place tweets from connections are displayed. Tweets will appear on the right side of the home page now, and take up less room than users are used to. @Connect will bring up a list of favorites, retweets, and anyone who has mentioned you in a Tweet. It will also show you accounts that might interest you enough to follow. #Discover is kind of like Facebook's Suggested Pages feature, using information about you gathered from tweets to suggest news articles, videos, and accounts of interest based on your interests.
Addition of Brand Pages
Twitter has also pulled a Facebook and created brand pages, with large headers and giving the business the ability to choose what content users see first when visiting their page. It seems as if Twitter is trying to direct users to their site and away from the social media leader with all of these changes, already features on Facebook. Twenty-one brands will be part of the newly launched pages, including Pixar, Pepsi, Heineken, and American Express.
Twitter says that this redesign will not only make things easier for new users to join and jump right into the tweeting world, veterans will find it is more streamlined as well. This is good news and may work to draw users away from Facebook, plagued with changes that users feel makes it more difficult to see content relevant to their interests, and posts from friends they care to read about.
TweetDeck Changes As Well
TweetDeck, picked up this spring by Twitter, will offer a new version for Mac users, and will switch from Adobe AIR to HTML5. It is losing all of the bells and whistles of being able to add a slew of social networks in a minimalist move, and is keeping merely Facebook integration, keeping the focus on Twitter.
Will Twitter Win Over The World?
I'll admit it, I personally do not use Twitter. I have never signed up for an account, and swore I never would. So many social media sites pop up and fizzle out in record time, I just didn't see the need. I'm already on Facebook, that's all I figured I would need. However, after all of the changes that have taken place, I can say that Facebook is a confusing mess. The changes to Twitter's site seem to make it easier for a Twitter newbie to jump right in.
The changes make it easier to understand the # and @ that come before a post, always a source of confusion to me. The fact they are simplifying things when other sites are just making it more complicated is refreshing, but it remains to be seen if it can woo Facebook users to make the switch. They have wooed one user – this author. Off to set up my first Twitter account and immerse myself in its simplicity.