Twitter has redesigned its user interface in a move that is set to increase the amount of time social networkers spend on Twitter.com.
The new site makes accessing photos and videos (from supported websites like YouTube, Kiva, Flickr, Vimeo, and twitpic) contained within tweets a much more enjoyable experience. Instead of sending users off to the external websites Twitter's users link to, Twitter.com now displays the linked multimedia content in a second column on twitter.com.
"On the site, you'll see the familiar timeline, yet underneath each Tweet is a handful of information, deeper context and even embedded media," divulged Twitter in a September 14 blog post. "Simply click on an individual Tweet and a details pane slides out on the right and reveals this content."
The changes shifts Twitter's focus from a place where users only come to share 140 character messages to a place where users can sit back and consume interesting content, be it short messages, photos, or videos.
Twitter has quickly filled with posts about the new built-in browsing and user interface changes.
"I'm just so excited about the new @twitter ! :D can't w8 to see it! :) let's hope i'm among the ones who get the preview!!," "I'm pretty stoked about the #NewTwitter website that is going be active by tomorrow morning!" and "Will see if #newtwitter will replace tweetdeck tomorrow," tweet expectant microbloggers.
Developers that have spent their time working on third-party Twitter clients - desktop and mobile software that helps organize and declutter the real-time web - like Tweetdeck, HootSuite, Tweetie, and Twhirl are singing a different tune.
Twitter's updated user interface poses a great threat to these clients. Twitter's new design and features, while not currently as enhanced as some existing web or desktop clients, is certainly encroaching on them.
As tech blog Mashable so succinctly states, "the new Twitter is essentially a full-featured desktop application minus the download."
Twitter's new interface will be rolling out to users around the world in the following weeks.
To learn about Twitter's new features head to http://twitter.com/newtwitter.
For further reading and hands-on previews of the site check out these links: