New Look For Twitter

  • Twitter is always on the move. I noted in the Ynot Forum that an API change was coming. Looks like I was right!

    Any time Twitter does a UI (user interface) or API update, my heart stops. Why? Mainly because their updates usually mean that other things are going to break. This can be anything from making duplicates of all your tweets to not posting scheduled tweets. I have also seen people get locked out of their account, and sometimes not able to get back in if they don't know the phone number associated with the account. You would think that the bigger the update the bigger the risk of breakage, but that is not true. There have been incidents of minor updates and huge problems with the network. One of the most notable sparked the pornocalypse scare of the Spring of 15!

    Pornocalypse 2015 was when Twitter had an issue in their code that prevented a lot of adult hashtags from being indexed in search or appear in top tweets. The issue affected hashtags that were not adult as well, like #agdate which is a hashtag for an agricultural dating chat…no, seriously. The reason this happened was because Twitter was working on cracking down on child porn (cp) and revenge porn on the network. During the initial stages, it affected a lot of hashtags due to a coding error. So what was deemed pornocaplypse and the end of adult content on Twitter was really just a coding error during an update.

    Thankfully the issues during this update have been minor and primarily limited to a few days leading up to the update and on the day of the update. 

    What did Twitter update? Good question. They updated 2 things. 1. Was the position of “moments” and “notifications”. Moments is a stream in Twitter that shows you popular trending topics. It is an attempt to get people to engage with a wider stream of topics. It has not been an overly successful feature of Twitter. So they swapped the position with the notifications, first on the android app and then on the desktop site. People were frustrated because they were clicking on moments instead of notifications, due to positional habits. Likely that was part of the reason Twitter did it, to get people to accidentally use it and decide it is amazing and start using it regularly. Not sure that the strategy worked.

    The second thing they updated is pretty big. They changed the way photos appear in the timeline. Photos use to be cropped and now they are appearing fully expanded. This means that your profile timeline will now actually be photo heavy, if you tweet a lot of photos. It also means that people don’t have to click to expand the image, they can just see it. So if they are clicking anything, it will likely be your link to your website. 

    It looks like the change is starting to have a positive impact on click through rates. Before when you clicked on an image to expand it, you decreased the likelihood of someone clicking a link. Mainly because we are all one click wonders. Now the one click can be reserved for your link.  Already seeing positive results