Twitter adds context to tweets

October 27, 2011

Twitter’s timeline is pretty cut and dry, after all, nothing too fancy is needed for a 140-character conversation. However, it appears that Twitter is quietly rolling out some updates to its timeline feature to add context to tweets.

Since #newtwitter launched a year ago, the micro-blogging network has been building on the original simplicity of 140-character posts to provide more context to the conversations and media contained in tweets. This update reorganises the layout of the tweet as displayed in the timeline. The new feature allows users to click individual tweets to expand conversations, media and RTs. Alternatively, when hovering over a tweet, an ’Open’ link appears which can be clicked to expand the conversation. Once opened a ‘Close’ link appears to close the expanded tweet.

This is a big move by Twitter as it competes with other social media platform and progresses on its quest to become a rich environment for consuming content. But will these updates start to clutter the simplicity factor that we all love about Twitter, and ultimately damage the user experience?

Twitter has already incorporated Facebook style features with its Activity Tab – a bit like Facebook’s news feed, which gives you a quick overview of your Twitter contacts recent activity, and the @username tab, which has replaced the mentions tab, is more of a personal notifications dashboard that gives you a glimpse of what’s been happening with your tweets, who has commented, retweeted, liked etc. It will be interesting to see how these updates are received once they have been rolled out worldwide, so watch this space!


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