I’ve noticed several tweets from my followees (I know that’s not really what they’re called — but then again what is Twitter vernacular for “the people you’re following?”) in the last 24 hours about Twitter’s “redesign” so I’ve poked around to draw some conclusion about it myself. From what I can see, there’s not a whole lot to talk about, but what they’ve done makes me wonder what’s coming next.
I can’t help but wonder if Twitter as a company and its users have significantly different visions of what Twitter as a tool is.
When I first noticed the redesign yesterday, I could have sworn they’d removed the Older link at the bottom of the “Recent” tab. Maybe they put it back because of the public outcry. I do think the tweet archive is important on the web — reviewing tweet history is probably the main reason I ever visit twitter.com — so I’m glad they conceded the point.
I think putting the overall notifications preferences in the sidebar was a good call, but I think it points to a remaining ease-of-use possibility around preferences for individual Twitterers. Flickr has it right with their hover options that let you click to change your contact preferences, and LiveJournal recently got it even more right: you can hover over a LiveJournal member and change your preferences right from the hover menu.
Twitter’s come a long way, but there’s still a sense that they’re lagging behind demand and underperforming based on user expectations. Still, I enjoy the tool and admit to being eager to see what they’re building up to with this redesign. Because they need to be up to something. Maybe they’re feeling safe now because they’ve pulled so far ahead of the other tools in being identified with the concept of micro updates, but there’s no safety for long in web technologies, and they’ll have to keep innovating or they’ll be but a tweet in history.