Twitter overhauling streams, releasing activity feeds

In a move that will be the first time Twitter has changed their display of content on the site, the company has announced that they will be releasing new feeds to replace the old ones in the next few weeks. 

Techcrunch reports that the mentions tab is being replaced by two new feeds soon. Specificially "@username" and "Activity." The @username feed will behave exactly as it does now, except it will also show social activity, such as a new follower, someone adding you to a list or retweeting your tweets.

The activity feed will show the same content as the @username feed, but will also show you content related to the people you follow on Twitter. For example, if a friend has a tweet retweeted or if they followed a new user. 

The change is a major move for Twitter towards making the site a lot more social than it currently is. For the most part, the site currently leaves it up to the user to find new people to follow on their own, and only has very basic other social networking features, such as recommendations.

Techcrunch also points out that the changes could majorly change how users actually interact with the service, considering that favorites have been around since the service itself, and its extremely underused given the lack of feature exposure. The favorite button may become some sort of "like" button, a way to show appreciation of a users' tweet, without actually resharing it.

It's likely that many users won't like the changes, as it appears that there is now no way to filter the new activities from their feeds (other than using desktop applications, of course). However, as with most major site changes, after the initial user complains many are likely to adjust to the changes and find them useful.

The changes are beginning to roll out to a small set of users today, with many more to come over the next few weeks. The changes are currently only coming to twitter.com, not applications or the mobile site, although Twitter says it will come in the future.

Already the changes are getting bad feedback from users, with Sharon Hayes tweeting;

This is what has replaced mentions tab for those who aren't seeing the new Twitter UI yet. Just awful. *sigh* http://t.co/ffadzNzless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

@findingnewo I had to slow down tweeting earlier and hardly tweeted because it was scrolling too fast for me to even read :(less than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

Because the new pages "live refresh" without queueing the tweets like the old methods did, users with large amounts of friends or followers on the service are having issues keeping up with the page scrolling.


 

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8 Comments

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Love the change as Twitter needs to ante up their features from their website. They've already added URL shortening and recently uploading an image

This one is a plus

A fantastic change, and something that answers one of my huge gripes with Twitter. Now, if they just remove that needless character limit, enable us to specifically tweet to certain lists only as well as the public, and allow us to tag full names, first names, and surnames instead of usernames (I'm actually currently thinking they should remove the option for usernames), I would actually consider switching from Facebook. One thing that annoys me about Facebook is that while I love all of the many useful features it provides over Twitter, I would prefer my followers to visit my website to see information about me. If I'm using Twitter instead of Facebook, it's more likely they will because my website is at the top of my stream rather than on some seperate "Info" tab.

Callum said,
A fantastic change, and something that answers one of my huge gripes with Twitter. Now, if they just remove that needless character limit, enable us to specifically tweet to certain lists only as well as the public, and allow us to tag full names, first names, and surnames instead of usernames (I'm actually currently thinking they should remove the option for usernames), I would actually consider switching from Facebook. One thing that annoys me about Facebook is that while I love all of the many useful features it provides over Twitter, I would prefer my followers to visit my website to see information about me. If I'm using Twitter instead of Facebook, it's more likely they will because my website is at the top of my stream rather than on some seperate "Info" tab.

Sounds like you just want Google+

martinDTanderson said,

Sounds like you just want Google+

You're right Except I'm very concerned that Microsoft won't integrate Google+ as deeply as they have Twitter or Facebook into Windows Phone which is why I am not currently using my Google+ account. Also, as a user of mostly Microsoft products (Internet Explorer, Bing, Hotmail etc.) rather than Google products (Chrome, Google Search, Gmail etc.), Google+ is less accessible to me than those who use those Google products. If Microsoft do implement Google+ deeply into Windows Phone, I would probably use Google+ over Facebook, but I think it's unlikely they will.

Not only that, but currently, a lot of my friends have moved from Facebook to Twitter (and don't currently use Google+), so I have to use Twitter to keep up-to-date with them, but I am not able to tweet or reply to them in an acceptable way due to the character limit, which is frustrating and is why I'm so passionate about them wanting to change heh.

Wow a change I am actually not initially unsure of! Poor third parties will need to go back and make changes. I wonder how this will affect Windows Phone now Mango has finalised...