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."
Notice our new prototype? @jack and I named and designed it based on old times. It’s called, “twttr." 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. #LetsHaveAConvo pic.twitter.com/WaNR2mOXO9March 11, 2019
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.
A sneak peek of the new twttr app.- replies are now nested and easier to read.- tweetstorms are much less cluttered.#LetsHaveAConvo pic.twitter.com/LVaDPiD2ztMarch 11, 2019
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.
I’m all for creative thinking, but Twitter has one of the best icons in the tech industry. It’s not a letter of the alphabet in white on a color backdrop. It’s this beautiful icon made of concentric circles. I think it’s hard to improve on what’s already one of the best.March 11, 2019
Just waiting for this #twttr icon to become a meme tomorrow...#TwitterBeta pic.twitter.com/ZKlOWLAUFJMarch 12, 2019
And of course, some have been pointing out that perhaps Twitter has some slightly more urgent issues that it ought to be addressing...
everyone: get rid of the nazisyall: we got rid of the logoMarch 11, 2019
Or you could give us an edit button, get rid of white nationalists, and put in place meaningful ways to block trolls.March 12, 2019
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!