/// A Few New Reasons to Reunite With Twitter.com

December 14, 2011  |  All Things Digital


Twitter is making a bid to lure us all back. [ See post to watch video ] Like many of the 100 million monthly active Twitter users, I tweet all the time, but I stopped doing it through Twitter’s own site, Twitter.com, ages ago. That’s because tons of desktop and mobile apps, such as TweetDeck and even Twitter for Blackberry, are simply more feature-filled and easier to use. Now Twitter has revamped its website, deconstructing its menus to be more approachable and easier to use, even for Twitter newbies. So I returned to the site and found three features that make a big difference. Meanwhile, two features I hoped would, by now, be available on the site still aren’t. Twitter is a short-messaging social network that limits each user’s posts, or tweets, to 140 characters. Some people tweet such mundane things as what they ate for lunch, while others tweet play-by-play accounts of live events or links to news stories. You’ll only see someone’s tweets if you “follow” them, and followers can retweet, mark as a favorite or reply to a tweet. The new Twitter is slowly rolling out to all users over the next few weeks, and will automatically replace the old version of the site. Easier on the Eyes The first thing people will notice about the new Twitter is that everything that was once hugging the right side of the screen has shifted to the left. A black banner across the top gives users the feeling of being anchored—an improvement over the past, lost feeling. The Twitter app for iPhone and Android devices also has this black banner. Twitter ‘Stories’ helps users keep up with news. Better Reading and Browsing Two features (one new and one improved) found under Twitter’s Discover tab solve the problem of what to read given the overwhelming number of choices in this social network. The Stories feature, though in its infancy, has the potential to become the first thing people skip to when they open Twitter.com. Here, Twitter displays 10 stories it thinks you’ll want to read. These are curated using an algorithm: Twitter studies the accounts you follow and serves up similar stories. Twitter also considers your location and which stories you interact with so that, over time, it will give you more personalized offerings. Done right, Stories could solve the problem of missing news on Twitter, where tweets speed by in an ever-changing stream and can be missed unless users look at the site all the time

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A Few New Reasons to Reunite With Twitter.com


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