Twitter is undergoing a redesign to make the desktop, mobile and app versions of the platform more intuitive and less cluttered.
The move follows on from Twitter's brand refresh last year, in which it adopted the strapline 'See What's Happening' in a bid to cement itself as the home of breaking news and live events.
In line with its renewed ethos, Twitter's team has listened to user feedback to refresh its product, part of this includes showing a live updates around how many times a tweet has been retweeted, liked or replied to to allow users to see conversations as they are happening. Previously users had to refresh tweets to see updated metrics, so this feature is likely to appeal to those on the hunt for news stories and help people quickly identify when a tweet is of significance.
Another tweak means links to articles and websites now open will now open in Safari’s viewer within the Twitter app so individuals can easily access accounts on websites they're already signed into. This move will allow for an overall more seamless experience, particularly for things like shopping or accessing sites with paywalls.
Another change on the media side is that additional accessibility choices will allow readers to opt in to always open supported links in Safari's ad-free Reader View – which strips out most of the formatting from web pages. Twitter tested opening every link in Reader mode by default last year, courting a bit of controversy around what this meant for publisher's looking to monetise content shared via the platform, but at the time it said it was "just a test for some".
In a more subtle change, Twitter has tweaked its typography to make it more consistent, and added bolder headlines to make it easier for tweeters focus on what’s happening.
A further aspect of the refresh will include a new side navigation menu and fewer tabs at the bottom of the app.
The rejigged format was trialed on Android last year and will now be rolled out to iOs users. In addition, Twitter is making it more natural for users to engage with posts on the platform by changing its reply button from an arrow to a speech bubble.
The shift could help Twitter in its ongoing battle to stave off sluggish user growth by making it less intimidating for new subscribers to navigate their timelines.