By Harry McCracken | Friday, December 9, 2011 at 5:20 am
How do I feel about the major makeover which Twitter unveiled yesterday? Well, it’s been hard for me to come to any conclusions, at least when it comes to the iPhone version. For some reason, it’s refusing to show me my timeline and @replies. Some other folks are reporting problems, too, and the fixes they’ve suggested aren’t helping me. I presume it’s a bug that’ll get fixed.
(It’s also showing me an outdated list of my Direct Messages that’s missing the recent ones–a glitch I’ve been encountering on multiple platforms for a long time.)
From what I’ve been able to divine by using a secondary account, and by trying the mobile-Web version, the new Twitter looks…okay. The company clearly wants to make it more approachable to folks who aren’t already savvy Twitter addicts. As far as I can tell, I’ll still be able to get the stuff done that’s important to me. Even though some of what’s new–especially under the Discover tab–feels irrelevant.
(A new feature called Stories aggregates Tweets on a particular newsy topic. That sounds like it might be fun if I could choose the topic. But it’s a one-size-fits-all thing, so I’m getting Stories on David Stern and Chris Paul–even though I’m so disinterested in those guys that I barely know who they are.)
Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber has a more critical look at the new Twitter which rightly points out that the new version loses all the genius of Tweetie, the third-party Twitter client that became the original official Twitter iPhone client. I’m such a fan of Loren Brichter, Tweetie’s inventor, that it’s kind of embarrassing, But now he’s gone from Twitter, and so, apparently, is his spirit. I wonder what he’s working on now?
As Gruber says, changes to the official version of Twitter aren’t a big deal as long as third-party clients continue to offer alternatives. He likes Tweetbot. I’m kind of perennially amateurish when it comes to Twitter: Most often, I use the Web interface or the iPhone and iPad apps. But I do like Hootsuite–and I can always retreat to it if I have any ongoing issues with the new Twitter.