Twitter On A Social Frenzy With New Products, New Features
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Today, Twitter released a new product and a new feature to the popular social service. The first of which places an image of the user’s choosing atop their profiles. This image will be seen whenever people access the profile page on any official Twitter app, be it on the web, Android devices or iPhone or iPad.
Each of these additions today act as further reminders that Twitter is still pushing to become the one source for Tweets and the one place where users should choose to view these Tweets and interact with other Tweeters.
The profile pages have been revamped, giving users the ability to upload header photos to the top of their Twitter profile. These pictures act in the same way Facebook’s cover photos do, remaining at the top of the page and yet, behind the user’s Twitter avatar.
“New profiles also help you get to know people better through their pictures,” proclaims Twitter in their blog post announcing this new change.
Twitter will also be placing recent photos in a stream just beneath a user’s most recent Tweets, giving visitors to a profile page a quick overview of another user based on recent comments and photos.
Twitter doesn’t want their members to forget about background images, of course: “While the header photo keeps your profile simple and consistent on iPhone, iPad and Android, you will also still have an additional photo — a background photo — on twitter.com. Upload a background image to complement your header and profile photos.”
Twitter is also inviting Apple tablet fans to “expand your experience” with the new, rebuilt Twitter for iPad.
“Tweets come alive in the new Twitter for iPad,” claims Twitter.
“Expand Tweets with a single touch to see beautiful photos, rich videos and web page summaries right in your timeline. Dive into the content with another tap to see the photo, play the video or read links from the web in fullscreen mode.”
With the new Twitter for iPad, the Home, Connect, Discover and Me options have moved to the left of the screen, while tapping a Tweet expands it.
Of course, users won’t be able to take advantage of any of these new features without going through the official Twitter channels. Earlier this summer, Twitter began issuing seemingly threatening and passive aggressive claims to third-party app developers, saying they want Twitter.com and official Twitter apps to be the main place for users to access Tweets.
It seems Twitter also wants users to visit the Web site on the desktop: It’s been rumored that they’re going to kill their own Mac App, an extra piece of software they took on when they acquired Tweetie in 2010.
Tweetbot, a popular Twitter client for iPad and iPhone, had been preparing their own Twitter client for the Mac. Tweetbot for Mac was released in Alpha and remained available until Twitter’s crackdown forced them to remove the desktop app. A beta version of Tweetbot for Mac has since been released, but is restricted to users who previously had the alpha. Furthermore, these users can only use the accounts they registered with the alpha versions. Each of these restrictions come courtesy of Twitter, as they’re restricting how many “tokens” a third-party developer can have. These “tokens” essentially ensure that a third-party client won’t outgrow Twitter’s own apps or web site traffic.