After what has seemed like months of promising, Twitter finally unveiled its new desktop layout in July. Designed to be more in keeping with its mobile version, it’s fair to say that after a couple of months of getting used to it, we think it’s actually rather good.
The latest updates to our social media courses went live at the beginning of August 2019 and of course, we have included the new layout changes in our updated Twitter for Business online course but what do we see as the main changes?
New Layout and Navigation
The most obvious change is how Twitter looks on a desktop. The main screen is essentially made up of 3 columns:
- the menu on the left – containing your notifications, messages, lists, explore and more
- the Home feed in the middle
- the right-hand column- search, trends and who to follow.
In our opinion, the navigation is certainly a lot more user-friendly. Previously you would have to click on your profile icon to access your settings, lists, analytics and ads, whereas now this is readily available or in the ‘More’ section. The ‘More‘ section also enables you to access your analytics, settings, Moments, display settings and Twitter ads.
You may notice that your ‘Moments’ are not as prominent on the new desktop version. Before the change, access to your ‘Moments’ could be found at the top of the screen as well as in the menu when you clicked your profile image. Now they just appear in the ‘More’ section.
Explore is now a big part of the Twitter.com overhaul. It is positioned prominently in the left-hand menu. Explore was previously only on the mobile app but now is a focal point on the desktop version. Explore will point you towards content Twitter thinks will interest you, including Tweets. articles and videos.
Bookmarks have also finally arrived onto desktop, where you can bookmark a Tweet that you may want to come back to or may link to an article that interests you.
Composing a Tweet
To compose a tweet, you can’t help but notice the blue Tweet button that sits in the left-hand menu and if you don’t like the blue button, you can always click on the ‘What’s happening’ box to begin.
Once in compose mode, you can easily add an image, GIF, poll and emoji by selecting the relevant icon at the bottom. You can create a thread of Tweets by clicking on the white ‘+’ with a circular blue background on the bottom right. One thing you may notice is that the ability to choose your precise location has been removed.
The display of direct messages has not always been the most user-friendly. With the layout changes comes a direct message section that feels like an inbox from the 21st century. You can now easily see your message list on the left and when you click on a message you’ll see the conversation on the right. Simple but effective!
If you click on ‘More’ and then click on ‘Display’ you will see some handy options to help you customise your Twitter experience.
The first thing to mention is the changes you make in this menu are only visible to you and not visitors to your profile. You have a number of options. Each choice will change the tweet shown in the example box so you can see what it looks like.
- The first option allows you to change the font size – you have 5 sizes to choose by clicking on each blue circle. example Tweet above.
- You have 6 colour options to choose from, which will give your links and hashtags in your tweets a new coat of paint as well as the Tweet button and other parts of your dashboard – remember this will only be visible to you.
- You can change the colour of your background from the default setting to dim (which is a dark grey) to Lights out, which is full-on dark mode.
These are just some of the significant changes we have found exploring the new Twitter desktop layout. We expect that Twitter will be adding features and doing some tweaking over the coming months – as usual, we will keep you posted.
Do you like the new layout? Please let us know in the comments below.