A few days ago Twitter announced their latest attempt at a Twitter front-end facelift in a bid to engage their users better.  They have had a number of attempts over the years, and each is met with a lot of negatively.  To be fair, any system that is upgraded will always attract a lot of criticism as people inevitably get comfortable with the current setup and find ways to work with any quirks.

The most recent change is a bold step for Twitter.

There are four key sections -- Me, Home, Connect and Discover.  The Me section is an expanded and more interactive profile.  Connect attempts to keep you up to date on your tweets as well as what your followers are saying.  Discover is perhaps the most interesting deviation from the normal Twitter lifestyle aiming to guide you to new content based on your current tweeting patterns, and also a little on what is trending.

The Home page has an interesting feature too  -- your tweets are better grouped into an expandable conversation, so clicking on a tweet will expand it if there is an earlier trail for the tweet.  Similarly images and video appear directly in the tweet rather than windows flying in and out to the side.

Overall I think this is a good interface move for Twitter.

Rollout is planned to complete early in the new year.  interestingly they have already updated their iPhone and Android Apps so if you update to the latest version it will also update your web interface.  This seems an odd way to activate an early rollout.  Stranger still, the official iPad app is now out of sync -- if you fire up your iPad version you are stuck with the old version for now.  It just seems odd that they did not complete the circle.  Rushed?

Twitter claim to have 100 million active users world-wide and see 2012 as the year to capture millions more.  As a side note, Twitter report a 25% increase in sign-ups to Twitter since it was integrated to the iPhone iOS 5 operating system a few months ago.  For me, I hope they get their infrastructure upgraded soon.  Almost every day without fail I see the "Twitter over capacity" message on their website.  If you use the mobile Apps you never see this, just a slow response!

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