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article imageTwitter completely redesigns its app in attempt to stay relevant

By James Walker     Jun 15, 2017 in Technology
Twitter has announced a complete overhaul of its mobile apps that introduce a new look and feel based on a "flatter" design. It reflects the company's growing desperation as it tries to attract new users and stay relevant amongst rival social networks.
Announcing the update in a blog post today, Twitter said the new apps are meant to align with the revised brand guidelines it introduced last year. The company claims the rewritten apps are "lighter, faster, and easier to use." In other words, Twitter's tried to address all its longstanding areas of criticism in a last-ditch attempt to find new, younger users.
When you open the app, the most immediately evident change should be the fresh design. Twitter has brought in elements of the "card" UI used on many other apps. There's also thicker wireframe icons and a new emphasis on typography and spacing. Font sizes are larger and bolder with a slightly different typeface in use. The overall look is brighter and more engaging for first-time users.
Profile photos are now round, aligning with modern UI design and making people visually distinctive within the app. Iconography has been redesigned with thicker wireframe brush strokes and a significant change for the "reply" button.
Formerly a back arrow, it is now a more traditional speech bubble. Twitter acknowledged many new users misinterpreted the arrow symbol's action as delete or return to the previous page.
Twitter has consolidated many of its secondary menu items into a single side navigation bar. You'll now find your profile, additional accounts, privacy options and settings by tapping your profile picture in the top-left corner.
Twitter app update 15-06-2017
Twitter app update 15-06-2017
Twitter
Twitter has long been criticised for hiding many important but lesser-used options in disparate areas of its app. This changes with the new update, again simplifying things for people just getting started with the platform.
There's a few other more minor changes too. These include live update counters for reply, retweet and like counts on Tweets, enhanced accessibility options and the use of Safari Reader on iOS to view articles and websites. Overall, the additions, tweaks and improvements make for a more modern and useable Twitter on mobile devices.
"Today, with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we're refreshing our product and making it feel lighter, faster and easier to use," said Twitter. "We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn't, we took a new approach to fix and make better." The update risks alienating long-time Twitter users who may be reluctant to see yet more elements of the "classic" platform disappear forever. While oddities like the arrow reply button make for a confusing experience, they're also established as an integral part of Twitter culture.
The company has already demonstrated that the overall impact of such changes is negligible though. The shift from "favourites" to "likes" created an uproar at first but has now been widely accepted. It's likely to be a similar case with this update, until everyone gets used to the new design. Twitter hopes it will encourage more users to give its app a try, making its platform healthier and more sustainable.
Twitter said the update will be available for the main Twitter website, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, Twitter Lite and its TweetDeck power user tool "over the coming days and weeks." Availability for other supported Twitter versions, including the company's Windows app, hasn't yet been disclosed.
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