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Twitter goes no-logo

twttr logo

Twitter is rolling out a new prototype version of its app to a select group of testers, but if you've been fortunate enough to be chosen to try it out, then you might have a bit of difficulty finding it on your phone.

As co-founder Biz Stone revealed in a tweet, for this new work-in-progress version of Twitter, the company's decided to ditch the familiar icon altogether, as well as digging out the platform's original, short-lived and achingly Web 2.0 name: twttr.

So what's the new logo design all about? According to Stone, he and his old Twitter pal Jack Dorsey named and designed it based on old times. "The bird flew away from the app icon representing: Simplicity. Blue sky thinking. We’re re-working. Not there yet; hence, no logo. Bold and a little weird."

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If nothing else, the lack of bird is a smart and attention-grabbing move, even if Twitter's never going to adopt it permanently. We like the notion, though, that it reflects simplicity and blue-sky thinking; we'll be interested to see if this translates to a new and better Twitter experience.

According to the release notes, the twttr prototype is all about exploring new ways to make conversations easier to read, understand and join. It introduces indented replies, with the original tweet in a conversation always being the focal tweet, and replies from the original author shown with a grey shadow; it'll also highlight replies from people you follow with a blue shadow.

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It sounds like Twitter's making inroads to fixing usability on its platform, but we're interested to see whether people focus more on that or its no-logo approach for this prototype.

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And of course, some have been pointing out that perhaps Twitter has some slightly more urgent issues that it ought to be addressing...

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Want to see what all the fuss is about? You can apply to join the prototype programme here, although there's no guarantee you'll be accepted. Good luck!

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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.