Twitter Gets a Facebook-Style Facelift
Your Twitter timeline just got a lot more visual. On Tuesday, the social networking giant quietly rolled out a change to its website, iOS and Android apps that exposes previews of photos and Vines directly in users’ timelines instead of forcing them to click a link.
According to Twitter’s blog, they made the change to make it easier for everyone to experience rich tweets, which “can bring your followers closer to what’s happening, and make them feel like they are right there with you.”
The move, which comes as Twitter gears up for its IPO, transforms the platform into a more visually appealing social networking site like Facebook and Instagram. The site lost a great deal of its visual content in late 2012 when Instagram removed the ability to preview its photos from within the Twitter stream.
The move towards rich media is sure to appeal to advertisers, who can now add images and Vines to their promoted tweets and essentially treat them as banner ads. The reaction from regular users, however, has been mixed. There’s a setting in the iOS and Android apps that allows users to turn off image previews, but no way to turn it off when viewing Twitter on a desktop.
Check out some of the reaction tweets following yesterday’s change:
Twitter didn’t make a big deal out of it, but pulling the actions into the timeline is a HUGE deal. Interested to see how engagement changes
— Ryan Sarver (@rsarver) October 29, 2013
People on Twitter right now: pic.twitter.com/SXSswYCX9m
— Aaron Levie (@levie) October 29, 2013
say goodbye to the RickRoll RT @jwherrman: Twitter update destroys a certain kind of blind image joke
— Half-Chewed Ingram (@mathewi) October 29, 2013
— Justin M. Overdorff (@jmover) October 29, 2013
Really cannot see any good reason for embedding images into the Twitter timeline. It's just annoying. pic.twitter.com/CBxf6KJX7i
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) October 29, 2013
The amount of visible ads in my twitter timeline is directly inverse to the amount of times I want to look at said timeline.
— Sean BONES (@seanbonner) October 29, 2013
if I wanted expanded content in my feed I'd use facebook.
— Bryce Roberts (@bryce) October 29, 2013
Now Twitter is just like your friend who just got back from her honeymoon: forcing you to look at pictures.
— Alison Leiby (@AlisonLeiby) October 29, 2013
It only took one hour of using the new Twitter layout to see <redacted not safe for work thing> RTed to my timeline Gee, thanks, Twitter ;_;
— David Broweleit (@Dacidbro) October 29, 2013
Dear Twitter: The photos embedded in my timeline are annoying. Please make us click on the tweet to see photos like we had to do yesterday.
— Josh Painter (I-TX) (@Josh_Painter) October 29, 2013
The new Twitter preview of images in your timeline is just like the old days with Instagram! #nostalgia
— Simone McCallum (@simonemccallum) October 29, 2013
Am unsure how I feel about this new twitter update. I fore see a lot of mistaken RTs, follows and favourites. #FatThumbs
— Adam Keefe (@Adam27Keefe) October 29, 2013
Suddenly looks like Facebook up in this place with all the selfies and meme images and videos and stuff filling up my timeline.
— Edward Keenan (@thekeenanwire) October 29, 2013
"I love having pictures appear automatically in my timeline!" – nobody pic.twitter.com/Mn4jmU1LfK
— Cuffé (@CuffyMeh) October 29, 2013
If only Twitter would ship a way for me to not see pictures from people who tweet too often. Oh yeah, it's called the Unfollow button.
— Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) October 29, 2013
why has twitter started automatically showing peoples pictures that they tweet? If I wanna see them I will look, I enjoyed having the option
— James Turner (@NiamSays) October 29, 2013
With Twitter getting ready to go public, it seems pretty likely they'll end up in a feature race with Facebook. http://t.co/XFej9xR4UZ
— Dave Winer ☮ (@davewiner) October 29, 2013