Everybody hates new Twitter

New Twitter
(Image credit: Twitter)

There's nothing like a redesign of a popular app or service to really get people's blood boiling. It's not so much that everybody fears change, more that enough people fear change to make a really loud noise about it when it happens. 

Considering how cross people get when a company unveils a new logo design, a whole new site redesign is bound to make waves. So given the news that Twitter is rolling out a completely revamped website with an updated look and feel, well, you can guess the rest. Folks aren't happy.

And to be fair, there's a lot to dislike about new Twitter; everything that you hate about the app version is now there on the desktop. So for example, by default it'll show you a timeline based around 'top tweets' rather than a straightforward chronological list. You can opt for it to show you tweets chronologically, but sooner or later it'll dump you back into the 'top tweets' view, much the same as Facebook does with its 'top stories' and 'most recent' timelines.

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There's some weird redundancy going on in the form of the new 'Bookmarks' feature, too. Up until now, virtually everyone used the 'Like' function as a bookmark; it did the job and as a bonus it also made people slightly happy. Not as happy as getting an actual retweet, but them's the breaks. Now, though, there's a new icon beneath every tweet, reminiscent of the iOS Share icon, that lets you add a tweet to the new Bookmarks section of your profile. 

In the same dropdown there's the option to copy the link to that tweet, something that used to appear in the dropdown at the top right of tweets, along with the option to embed a tweet, amongst other things. Weirdly, the embed option is still up there, even though it's in the same functional ballpark as the copy link option.

New Twitter

It's all a bit of a UX nightmare; why are the embed and copy link options in separate dropdowns? (Image credit: Twitter)

It all feels like a bit of a mess; in its blog post, Twitter lists all the exciting new features that have been added, most of which are things we're pretty sure you've never wanted. It's all summarised in this little video:

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It's not all bad; the two dark mode options are a welcome addition, and the easy switching accounts will be a bonus for anyone with more than one account on the go. But those little benefits feel like less of a win next to that ludicrously fat sidebar menu and in-your-face trends, and the fact that when you're scrolling through your timeline, everything feels a bit sluggish and stuttery.

The big win for Twitter here is that this new site is a PWA that'll work on everything, and that's designed to look amazing on most mobile devices. We suspect a part of the problem is that, like mobile-first sites, PWAs rarely look quite as good in a desktop browser. One advantage of PWAs is that they can be installed as stand-alone apps, which may result in better desktop performance.

The big issue, though, is that people plain don't like change, and the #NewTwitter hashtag is overflowing with rage right now.

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Ultimately, though, we imagine everyone will get used to it sooner or later.

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.