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New Twitter unveiled: Read the reviews and send us your own

Today we're launching a new faster, easier, and richer way to discover what's new in your world. #NewTwitterless than a minute ago via web

8:15 a.m.
Doubling up on its user experience, Twitter unveiled a site redesign last night that will have its Web page expand to two large columns of information. The left-hand column will contain tweets and the right-hand column will expand on those tweets with embeddable photographs, video and user conversations.

Taking a page from Apple's PR playbook, Twitter made the announcement by summoning the press to their headquarters in California. Make the announcement seem like a big deal, and voila! It is a big deal.

The rollout will be done over the next few weeks, so don't fret if you don't have it yet. (@amzam says this is just a ploy to garner buzz--everyone will be asking if everyone else will have the new Twitter yet. She's also annoyed she does not have the new Twitter yet.)

Eventually the new interface will be the only one you can get on the site. Here's a roundup of what the technobuzz are talking about. If I've missed any important reviews, tweet them at me (@melissabell) or e-mail them to me! Or use #newtwitter to let us know.

The Post's Rob Pegoraro makes a very good point: "This redesign, however, doesn't end one of the more annoying aspects of Twitter readership: Having to guess what page awaits behind somebody's shortened Web link."

The change brings about a whole subtle list of alterations, MG Siegler writes at TechCrunch. Among them, keyword shortcuts (Hit "n" for new tweet) and larger avatar photos.

It's a more entertaining experience, Quentin Hardy writes at Forbes, which is the whole point: "There's more, mostly around an intention of keeping you on the site for longer."

Twitter's redesign heavily borrows from other sites. Although the redesign is ostensibly to draw users back to the main interface and away from secondary sites such as TweetDeck, Twitter is vying for attention against other mainstream sites and has integrated their features into its site.

Mashable calls it the "Facebookification of Twitter." Whereas Facebook changed its News Feed last year to go more Twitter, this year, Twitter is integrating the multimedia to mimic the destination site of Facebook. The new site will lead fewer users off-line.

(On a tangential note, Twitter is not a social network. Twitter Vice President Kevin Thau said, "Twitter is news. It is information," Memeburner quotes Thau as saying at Nokia World 2010 in London.)

The New York Times notes that the redesign borrows its image search from Google and Bing, which offer continuous streams of photographs. Twitter will now create a slideshow from Flickr accounts right on its main page.

Noting that John Mayer left the Twittersphere for Tumblr, Dan Costa at PC World says, "Tumblr, incidentally, also lets you embed pictures and videos directly into your news feed."

I, for one, can't stand change. That and I'm a HootSuite addict. This does not seem to offer the abilities I love about HootSuite: draft tweets, list views, etc. I don't see myself switching back to the home page. Do you like the ideas of the redesign? If you don't use the homepage, will you go back to it now?

Update, 2:12 p.m. @hangingnoodles sent across this write up of the New Twitter and what it implies for journalism. Check it out.

Go ahead and follow me at whichever Twitter site you choose.

By Melissa Bell  | September 15, 2010; 8:18 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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