Twitter gets contextual with site revamp

Split screen aims to give users information more quickly
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Split screen aims to give users information more quickly

Twitter has unveiled a redesigned interface in a move the company hopes will make the microblogging site easier and faster to use.

The new interface uses two panels rather than the single list of tweets seen previously.

The left-hand panel is home to the Twitter timeline feed with tabs at the top for mentions, retweets, networks, searches and lists.

The right panel however, can be changed to show a variety of contextual information including a general information panel which shows followers, people the user is following, favourite tweeters, trending topics, and recommended people to follow.

When users click on the names of people they're following, mini profiles appear in the right panel including information such as the tweeter's biography, recent tweets and other account information.

the new Twitter interface showing an embedded video

The new Twitter interface allows users to view images and videos at the same time as their Twitter stream
(Screenshot: Twitter)

Users can also access information relating to a particular tweet such as replies, other tweets by the same user and a map showing the location where a geotagged tweet was posted, as shown above.

The right-hand panel also gives users a flavour of images and videos that have been tweeted. When a user posts a link to a picture or video to their Twitter feed, if their followers click the link in the left panel, it will make the image or video appear in the right panel along with tweets relating to that image.

Videos and photos posted on various sites including YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo can all be displayed in the same way.

A preview version of the new interface is being rolled out to users in stages over the next few weeks although some users will already be seeing the new site. Users will initially be able to switch between the old and new version to familiarise themselves before the updated version becomes the default.

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