Twitter Gives the Fail Whale a Break and Updates its Site

Dear people of the world:  Stop everything…right now.  This is a momentous occasion.  Are you sitting down?  Well, stand up.  Then sit down again.  Okay, here it goes: Twitter, the mogul of all things 140 characters, has made an announcement this week.  And here it is.

They have redesigned their site!  Well, it’s not final as of yet, but if you are a lucky twitterer you may randomly get to see it play out on your profile.  This preview option appears as a bar across the top of the webpage (secretly mentioning that a new version of Twitter is here) and if clicked, a whole new world of short, social networking appears.

So here’s a quick breakdown.  The left side of the new webpage design contains the tweets from your peers and colleagues, and one might say that there is nothing new about that.  But is this the case?  As you scroll down the page, previous tweets keep on showing up in real time.  Clicking for older tweets is no longer necessary; the tweets come to you.

The right side of the new design initially shows nothing, but as one hovers over tweets on the left, pictures, hashtags, video, and other useful information will appear on the right side of the page.  Is that cool or what?  Currently sites like YouTube, Flickr, TwitPic, and a few others are coordinating with Twitter to allow their media formats to be shown in the right viewing pane, and more will probably follow once the new site design fully rolls out in the coming weeks.  Along with all these sleek new features, things like messages, retweets, and mentions will be moved to a location above the timeline and a large search bar will be incorporated to the top of the page.

All the new site features are listed here.  If you do get to try out this new swag on your Twitter account, be sure to use the hashtag #NewTwitter to let the developers know what you think is working well and what is not.  After all, Twitter is a community first and foremost.  And for those who don’t get to try it out… well, I’ve heard counting ceiling tiles helps pass the time.

P.S. Here is a video presentation about the new Twitter.  Does the ending feel paradoxical to you?