5 Twitter Changes and How to Make the Most of Them

social media toolsAre you wondering how Twitter’s changes will impact your use of its network?

Recently, Twitter got a complete revamp that changed things drastically. Interestingly, it didn’t pump the social network with more and more features.

Ryan Sarver, Twitter’s head of API, explained it crisply: “In a world where Facebook and Google are competing on features, Twitter wants to focus on being simple.”

This article will review all the changes, from user interface changes to Twitter brand pages, what the new changes mean and how you can best use them.

#1: Easier and More Streamlined Navigation

The first thing you’ll notice with the new Twitter is that navigating has become a lot easier and more streamlined. With just one click on any update, you can now get all the information you need from a tweet.

It will show you the number of retweets, replies and favorites, without going anywhere else.

This means you can jump into the conversation right from there. It also gives you a great overview of how well that particular tweet has performed. While some Twitter tools offer this already, it is very helpful to have it right inside Twitter.com.

twitter changes

You can see all the information you need right here.

Another feature that might just have become very useful is the “Who to follow” box on the left. This is a fantastic new way to discover people close to your network whom you might not know about. You can click the “x” on any person who is not suitable, and browse endlessly through this tool to find people.

The little note below each of the suggested people tells you who from your network is already connected to that person. This makes expanding your Twitter tribe much more focused. I like this, as you aren’t stabbing in the dark when connecting with new people.

twitter changes

See who's following these people before deciding to follow them yourself.

I am immensely impressed with the new “Discover” area in the new Twitter. It surfaces content much more intelligently now and becomes a very powerful place to find new articles.

With one glance, you can browse through the hottest stories on the web and get updated on everything, without having to search endlessly through past tweets. This area also has a complete “Who to Follow” stream ready for you that you can explore:

twitter changes

It's now easy to discover the hottest stories.

How to Make the Most of the New Twitter.com in 10 Minutes a Day

These new design improvements mean that if you are super-busy handling all of your business activities, the new Twitter allows you to expand your network in a very short and focused stretch of time.

Here are a few tips on what you can do:

  • Browse your new and improved stream for great tweets and conversations. Click “open” on any tweet to get the full context more easily.
  • Spend 5 minutes browsing the “Who to Follow” stream and expand your network easily and in a focused way.
  • Hop over to the new “Discover” area to find all of the latest stories from your network in one glance.

Bonus Tip: The new Buffer browser extension has been updated to work inside the new Twitter. Click “Buffer” on any tweet next to “Retweet” and easily schedule your retweets to be posted at an optimum time.

#2 and #3: Twitter Brand Pages and Embeddable Tweets

Evidently, one of the biggest changes coming for businesses is Twitter brand pages alongside the new embeddable tweets function. While only 21 brands were given access to creating their page, it is said to soon roll out to everyone else.

What is most notable about brand pages is that they allow you to pin the top tweet, so it is not cluttered with replies. This means you can find one of your top-value tweets and have it ready whenever a new visitor arrives.

Secondly, you are also able to customize a banner slot right beneath your account information. You can fill it with a promotion or special deal for your followers. Here is an example from Best Buy’s brand page.

twitter changes

Check out Best Buy's Twitter Brand Page.

With the new embeddable tweets function, Twitter has also given a major incentive to bloggers and publishers to come back to Twitter.com. To get to the embed function, just click “Details” after you have expanded the tweet once. Then simply click the “embed” link to get all of the options to include the tweet in your next blog post:

twitter changes

Notice the "Embed this Tweet" link at the bottom.

The great thing is that you can customize the styling of the embedded tweet right from there. This means you can control the position and text wrapping on the page. Once you are happy with your changes, just copy and paste the code into the HTML of your next blog post.

twitter changes

You can customize the Embeddable Tweets.

Here’s how this looks (note: what you see below is active, NOT a screen shot):

Four Quick Tips to Make the Most of Embeddable Tweets

Personally, I believe this feature can be an extremely powerful blogging tool for anyone using Twitter. The fact that it places a Follow button on the embedded tweet alone is very attractive for giving any Twitter account a lot more exposure.

  • If you’re writing about an event, try finding relevant tweets to embed so you can give your article a more lively appearance.
  • Add credibility to your articles by embedding tweets from experts talking about the topic. Simply search Twitter for some keywords to find relevant tweets.
  • If you are reviewing a product or service, place a few tweets from across the Twitterverse at the bottom of your post to show more varied opinions.

Bonus tip: Whichever tweet you embed, let the person who tweeted it know, as you are providing them with additional exposure. They might just help you spread your content even more.

#4: The New, Much Faster TweetDeck

Another equally significant announcement from Twitter is that the new TweetDeck has been unveiled. As a heavy TweetDeck user myself, there is one most important improvement I see right away: TweetDeck is no longer an Adobe Air app, which means it is less sluggish to use.

Since TweetDeck’s acquisition by Twitter, it is evident that a lot of effort has been put into making the dashboard simpler and imitating the Twitter.com experience more closely. You’ll realize this quickly as there is no bar at the top to add your tweets, but only a box similar to Twitter.com.

twitter changesThe improved TweetDeck is easy to use.

However, my feeling is that these changes have taken away some of TweetDeck’s previous flexibility and functionality. Clearly, the new TweetDeck is geared toward more mainstream usage and less focused on providing the go-to dashboard for power users.

twitter changes

The new TweetDeck dashboard is geared for mainstream users.

#5: The New iPhone and Android Apps for Twitter

Twitter’s new mobile clients for Android and iPhone I would like to call huge successes. The experience, much like the new Twitter.com, has been greatly improved and streamlined for you.

You can access your #discover area with top stories in the exact way as on Twitter.com. Also the @mentions and news stream have received a major design update. They are much easier to browse and interact with. Especially whenever there are unread updates in one of your streams, it displays a little line beneath the icon like you see below:

twitter changes

The improved mobile Twitter news stream.

 

twitter changes

Here's the improved mobile Twitter @mentions stream.

What I also greatly enjoy is that on the home tab, you now have a notification counter of how many direct messages are in your inbox. At the same time, it’s very easy to access your Twitter lists right from there with just one tap. It makes focused reading of news a lot easier for you.

twitter changes

It's easy to see the number of unread Direct Messages waiting for you.

Tips to Make the Most of the New Twitter Mobile Clients

There are quite a few hidden tricks and features on your new Twitter mobile clients that might just make your life a lot easier. Here is a list of the top three things I found:

  • Whenever you’re writing a tweet and you don’t want to send it just now, hit “Cancel” and then “Save as Draft.” This is a great way to space out your tweets and avoid flooding your followers.
  • You can easily connect multiple Twitter accounts from the home tab and switch between them conveniently. Just click on “change accounts” and swap over to your business or other Twitter account.
  • For better monitoring, save some Twitter searches, as you can now easily access them right from the home tab too. This is a great way to stay up to date with your most important keywords about your business.

How do you like the new Twitter?

Overall, I believe Twitter has done a fabulous job with their updates on the new Twitter. The one point I feel might need some improvement is the new TweetDeck. But I understand that this particular revamp happened more likely because of Twitter’s overall “focus on simple” strategy than anything else.

What is worth noting is that Twitter is making a huge bet on bringing users from various clients back to Twitter.com. Looking at the changes above, I have to say that for me this has definitely been true. I find myself browsing Twitter.com far more often. The brand pages especially can be a big reason for business owners to engage more on Twitter.com itself.

Over to you now. What do you think? So much has happened to Twitter recently. How do you like it? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Leon Widrich

Leo Widrich is the co-founder of BufferApp.com, a smarter way to publish your tweets and other social media posts. He writes more social media tips on the Buffer blog. Be sure to connect with him @leowid anytime. Other posts by »




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  • P.O.W.E.R. Org Math

    Succinctly stated! I hadn’t taken the time to become familiar with most of the features highlighted here, but your post certainly sparks my interest.

  • Staylor733

    Good article. I like both the new twitter and tweetdeck. The changes make it much easier to use imo. Didnt know about the embed tweet feature. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://twitter.com/Payroll_builder Payrollbuilder.com

    Never knew about embedding tweets, awesome article!

  • koopy

    I’m more of a mobile power user so my opinions will be different, but overall I feel iit’s a huge step backwards for those who really like to have a feature-rich environment. Will this attract new users who are confused and intimidated by Twitter? Probably, but they’ve now alienated the folks who have really pushed hard to applaud its accolades.

    Here’s a great article by @flyosity in relation more to the mobile version on iOS: http://flyosity.com/design/twitter-for-iphone-takes-a-step-back.php

    I loved the old mobile Twitter but then they completely crippled it as mentioned above, but repeated here quickly: Discover tab is useless to me (no apparent analytics incorporated at all), removal of features such as Favstar integration, translation of tweets, link reposting, copying a link by long-holding it, turning a Twitter useer into a contact, shortcut to reading a link later, changing text size, showing only username or only full name in tiimeline, landscape mode, can no longer quickly tell if someone follows, can no longer easily view another user’s @Mentions from others, can no longer create lists or add users to them

  • LeoWid

    So glad you like it and great I could help out with the news on embedding Tweets! :)  

  • LeoWid

    Hi there, thanks a lot for stopping by. Yes, the new Twitter is amazing! Indeed, it is awesome how easy Twitter now makes it to embed Tweets, there is lots of creative potential there to use it I think! 

  • LeoWid

    Glad it did! :)  

  • LeoWid

    Hi Steve, thanks a lot for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. 

    Oh right, yes, I completely agree with you, Twitter certainly moved away from the power user with the release of their new Apps and it appears they are shooting much more for the mainstream user now. At the same time though I believe that this creates an awesome opportunity for other companies to build those exact features that Twitter has now taken away. What do you think? 

  • http://twitter.com/JesseC_D Jesse C-D

    Thanks for this posting. I’m really excited about a lot of these features. How do I upgrade my user face for my desktop? Is there an upgrad for the iPad as well?

  • http://twitter.com/TroskaServices Tanya Troska

    This was a GREAT article, thanks for sharing! I have just one looming question, that I’ve not been able to find the answer for, and that’s knowing whether or not Twitter has developed the ability to have/allow multiple administrative access to a profile. It’s been something I’ve been searching for in this system for quite some time now, and don’t know if it’s possible or will ever be possible. It’s one of the best things that Facebook was able to develop for their business pages.

  • http://productlaunchthatworks.com Brian Kwong

    Quick question, my twitter still look the same, do I have to do something to activate the new interface?

  • LeoWid

    Hi Tanya, great to hear from you and so glad the article was interesting! Yes, so with the new web Twitter, you can’t have multiple Twitter accounts. But with your mobile (iPhone/Android) Twitter account you can manage multiple accounts! :)

    Hope that helps. 

  • LeoWid

    Hi Jesse, Yes, there is a new iPad version too that you can download from the App store. As for the web version, simply go to fly.twitter.com and you can get the new Twitter there.

    Hope that’s helpful. :)  

  • LeoWid

    Hi Brian. Sure, so the way you can get the new Twitter immediately is by simply downloading either the iOS or Android App. If you do, your Twitter.com interface will immediately be updated! :)

  • http://jimsmarketingblog.com/ Jim Connolly

    Thanks for such a useful post, Leo.

  • koopy

    I guess so, but now Twitter seems to be contradicting themselves, where they had stated before they didn’t really want 3rd party companies and apps to change the feel and user interface.  Now, because they themselves have dumbed-down their own they expect 3rd parties to step in?  I found the old iOS app to be completely functional yet simple, with the ability through settings or gestures to be able to dig down into further functionality.

    You mentioned how you can access the multiple accounts through the Home tab.  I think you meant to say through the Me tab.  This is a good example of forcing the user to jump through extra hoops, and to me, make it more confusing.  The older version simply had the Switch Account button sitting at the top left.  I’ll at least give Twitter kudos for gesture shortcuts, as you can swipe the Home tab from right to left to automatically bring up the Accounts section, and swipe up to go directly to Messages.  

    However, the loss to be able to add and edit lists and easily see other users @Mentions seems overly crippling to me.  The Connect tab is a glorified notification centre that will also show you retweets, favourites and follows.  Superior iOS apps like @Tweetbot:disqus already had this ability to push this to you real time via the true Notification system.

    Other than @Tweetbot that I already mentioned (and in my opinion is the best of the best at this moment), some other good alternatives are @Tweetings and @TweetAgora.  I really only use Twitter on my desktop maybe 5% of the time.  I am a true mobile user between my iPhone and iPad.  I am discouraged that Twitter has stripped functionality and in essence crippled their mobile app.
      
    P.S., Leo, as the co-founder of Buffer, I love your service and have installed the bookmarklet into Safari so I can also use it on my iPhone and iPad.  However, I have noticed that dependent on the webpage on the Safari iOS, the Buffer window that pops up is only partially visible and is often cut off on the right side of the screen.  Sometimes pinching and readjusting works.  However, in other cases I can’t view it and have to quit out of the window.  Is this something that can be adjusted on your end or on Apple’s?

  • koopy

    Hi Tanya, to add to Leo’s post.  The “Switch accounts” button on the iOS mobile app is found under the Me tab.  A shortcut is to swipe the Me tab from right to left and the Accounts screen will immediately pop up.

  • http://twitter.com/jcauseyfd Jeff Causey

    Until they can support multiple accounts, don’t see any reason to move back to Twitter’s own platform.

  • http://twitter.com/poconubloso Giovanni Benavides

    Like it very much and it has become very easy to use on my iPhone. It even makes a sound when used on my phone.

  • http://twitter.com/seterapia Giovanni Benavides

    So simple and it’s free!

  • http://www.wholesalepages.co.uk/ Wholesale Suppliers Directory

    Android is making its place very faster in this competition age. It is observed that people are shifting or moving towards it on daily bases and its growth rate is very high. About the changes in twitter applications and rules, I would like to say that twitter had need of it because of high high level competition with facebook and other social media websites. If you are innovative then you may take stand in market otherwise it is useless for you to run business successfully without making change in your products/services.

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Hi Leon! The way that you have presented here about the twitter changes is very interesting to read. These are very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing. Keep updating.

  • LeoWid

    Hi Jim, long time no see! :) Glad you liked it. 

  • LeoWid

    Great point Jeff, I still have my TweetDeck open for that reason! It’s just that for personal use I quite like it. :)

  • LeoWid

    Hi Giovanni, yep, push notifications are fully built in now, awesome right? 

  • LeoWid

    Hi Henry, glad it was useful! :)  

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  • http://twitter.com/dfscot David Flint

    The thing I miss most in the new Tweetdeck / Twitter is the integration of deck.ly for longer posts. Sometimes I can’t even retweet in Tweetdeck because the post exceeds the 140 character limit.

  • Gary Cozin

    Question? I have Teetdeck version 38.2. How do I get the latest version you descibed above? Thanks- 

  • http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~pratnala Pratyush Nalam

    Just go to http://www.tweetdeck.com/desktop
    Download it. :)

  • http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~pratnala Pratyush Nalam

    Nice article! Shared it FB, Twitter, G+

  • Kristy C. Cartier

    I may be in the minority but I find reviewing and direct messaging new followers more cumbersome after the updates as the pop-ups are layered and unmovable. Otherwise, it seems the changes are making Twitter more functional within the application itself. Thank you for providing some helpful tips!

  • Dennis

    Very good information Leo. Still trying to find the best way to use the Social Media for the Senior and Veterans market. Postings on F, T and In already. Any suggestions?
    Thanks again for the article!

  • Veronica S.

    So it only allows me to download for my iphone or droid.  I have a blackberry for work and the page that I manage as part of my job as Employee Brand Manager. I upgraded the blackberry twitter but it doesn’t result in the “new” Twitter when I log in on a computer. I try to avoid to do anything work-related from my personal phone.  Do you know if there is a way to upgrade my desktop interface without an iphone or droid? If not, do you think adding the handle to my iphone would do the trick? let me know. I really appreciate the help!

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  • Nancy

    As a mostly mobile user, I miss the translate feature. I follow a few people who don’t tweet in English and this feature was very useful.

  • http://twitter.com/CSRSocialDesign Cheryl S Rozovsky

    Excellent article. Thanks!

  • http://www.dailytrader.com/ Global Wholesale Suppliers

    The most important thing is branding your product. If you have a good and well known brand then it can be really helpful for you in terms of increasing your traffic. Whenever you want to purchase any thing then the first thing that comes in your mind is brand. Brand image is very important and  also plays an important role in increasing your sales and profit.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley

    I do not like the way Lists are handled with the New Twitter… I don’t use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and getting to and navigating the Lists a clunky now.  I use Lists all day long to get to the information I want…

    Other than Lists I do like it.

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/donald_576 DONALD UKPONU

    Congratulations! Twitter for the new debut.The New Interface for twitters.

  • Jroberts

    I use twitter.com on the web to maintain our page, how do you get the new look?

  • http://wwwNickBogatin.com/ Nick Bogatin

    Loving the new Twitter

  • patelanjali

    Interestingly, it didn’t pump the social network with more and more features.

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  • http://www.morethanpepper.com/ Tom

    sweet stuff

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  • LeoWid

    glad you liked it Tom! :)  

  • LeoWid

    exactly, I felt that was a huge achievement from Twitter! 

  • LeoWid

    glad you liked it Cheryl! :)  

  • LeoWid

    Hey Dennis, Great question. I believe I would go with inbound marketing and simply providing interesting and relevant content. Some great examples are SEOmoz, HubSpot and SocialMediaExaminer right here, just observe how they post and get loads of traffic by providing amazing content. :)  

  • http://www.facebook.com/San.Diego.Marketing.USA San Diego Marketing

    It’s weird, but I haven’t noticed these things on my dash. Do you have to click something or what? It looks the same as before.

  • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z

    I don’t use Twitter on my phone…is there a way to update to the new Twitter look/features via web browser?

    Great article, btw. Might make me look at using Twitter.com more and possibly my other apps less…

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  • http://twitter.com/EydieStumpf EydieStumpf

    I’m with San Diego Marketing – I haven’t noticed these changes either. Is this being rolled out slowly to a select group and then to the masses?  Eydie :)

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  • http://roarmkting.com Ryan Rosado

    I like the new Twitter features/design, it’s more intuitive.  Great job of delivering the new changes and including some tips on how to best utilize the new Twiter design.

  • http://www.mactonweb.com/ Web design London

    Thanks for a great slideshow. I use it on a number of sites that I look after.

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