February 12, 2014
Is A New Feed Layout In The Cards For Twitter?
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Twitter is once again testing some changes to its appearance and may move the timeline aside in favor of cards that will fill the screen in columns instead of the single, chronological feed that appears in the current timeline.
The new design was first noticed by Mashable's assistant features editor Matt Petronzio. The card design makes photos, videos and other media more prominent in the feed.
The card design might disrupt the timeline that users expect, where tweets appear in mostly chronological order and can be followed during an event or trending moment. The experimental changes might disrupt the status quo, TechCrunch reports.
"Twitter’s more magazine-style web layout would make for a media-friendly product that better highlights images and video, but at what cost? The feed then becomes somewhat unhinged from its original, linear and mostly chronological design, which is bound to affect interaction. There’s also a 'View more photos' link which suggests more of a rich media discovery play in the works," TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington wrote.
Social networks often expose their experimental designs to small handfuls of users in the wild. This version may be in early stages, months from a rollout, or even destined to be shelved in favor of other design ideas. Last month Twitter made it known that it was implementing a redesign in the future that would make the web version more like the mobile version of the microblogging site. This design has not yet rolled out in its entirety.
The new design, inspired by Twitter cards, might not be in Twitter's future. Or it might be pushed through to appease investors after last week's disappointing earnings report, which was reported by USA Today.
If the card design rolls out, it is expected to be met with mixed appeal, and might require some time for users to become adjusted. A card design changes the fundamental functions of Twitter's microblogging site. It makes Twitter more like other social networks such as Facebook and Pinterest.
"These may seem like small changes, but the way people use Twitter are tied deeply to its design. A single column of chronological tweets enforces a fundamentally ephemeral quality to Tweets published by users – they are born and live only briefly, quickly pushed down by other posts being put out. A multi-column spread increases the lifespan of Tweets, in a way similar in theory but different in execution to how the new Twitter practice of bubbling back up conversations attached to @-replies keeps back-and-forth engagement more top of mind," TechCrunch's Etherington wrote.
The new design may be disorienting, but it offers an interesting presentation for tweets with images and videos, beyond a text status update or commentary on recent events. The dashboard also offers a few changes including the tally of tweets, photos/videos, following, followers, favorites and lists that is somewhat expanded from what is currently available on Twitter. The current design offers insight into the number of tweets, following and followers. The new tally demonstrates a shift from text to richer posts with photos, videos and snapshots of websites, among other media.