Say Hello to the New and Improved Twitter, Prepare to Spend Even More Time On It

Twitter unveiled the biggest change to its look and function it has ever undergone at a press event yesterday. The new version of the site is being rolled out gradually over the coming weeks, so if you haven’t noticed a difference yet, don’t worry, they’re not just leaving you out because your tweets were not funny enough. TechCrunch points out that someone has created a little app that will send you a direct message when you are able to switch over– which seems weird because anyone who would be that eager to try it is probably checking Twitter several times an hour anyway. But hey, an app is an app!

Reviews for the new Twitter have been good so far. Techies seem impressed with the new interface and the split-screen set-up, which allows you stay with your stream even as you’re looking at the pictures, movies, and links that are popping up on your timeline.  

At the event, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said traffic to Twitter has grown about 100% this year, and is logging an average 90 million tweets every day, about 25% of which contain links. Additionally, Mr. Williams said in a recent blog post that Twitter has 145 million users and that there are 300,000 third party apps that have been built on top of it.

The people who created those apps are examining this new version of Twitter with some trepidation, signaling as it does Twitter’s continued willingness to take those developers’ best ideas for the platform and incorporate them into the main product. In The Times, Mr. Williams does not provide much in the way of reassurance. “We’ve made it pretty clear that we are going to create the best experiences we can with all our clients,” he is quoted as saying. “We made it clear to developers that it’s great for everyone if we make it as good as possible, because that will create more successful Twitter users.”

TechCrunch has a good list of the little things that make the new Twitter better than the old one, including a handful of keyboard shortcuts that will make refreshing the page easier and losing your place as you read through your stream harder.

Say Hello to the New and Improved Twitter, Prepare to Spend Even More Time On It