The New Twitter Profile That Ate Your Old Twitter Profile

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"...And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own!" (The Birds, Hitchcock, 1963)
"...And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own!" (The Birds, Hitchcock, 1963)

What does the new Twitter profile layout have in common with the Great Wall of China? Answer: The popular notion that you can see the Great Wall of China unaided from space has been disproved. The jury is still out on the new Twitter profile look.

Twitter debuted the new design back at the beginning of April. From that point on, new users were automatically given the new profile, which was also rolled out to certain popular power users. Now the new look is available to the entire Twitter population, and not everybody's loving it. You don't have to make the change just yet—and you can preview what it'll look like before committing—but at some point down the line, the new profile look is going to become a requirement.

Right now the change is only for desktop, although Twitter has reportedly been playing around with testing the new look for the mobile app.

The new profile has clear inspiration in Facebook and Google+, with the option to add a truly enormous hero image at the top and the ability to pin tweets. Users can also filter feeds so that they only see regular tweets, tweets with photos/videos, or tweets with replies. Certain tweets that have received more engagement, what Twitter refers to as “Best Tweets” will, it says, “appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.”

But as they say in design—when you make everything bold, nothing is bold. The new look, at least to my eye, is really quite distracting. There's so much going on it's hard to know what to focus on. The scrolling experience is also a bit of a pain. Rather than being able to absorb a lot of tweets/headlines quickly, I have to scroll through enormous images of things I don't care about to get to the good stuff. For example, three tweets with images on the new Today Show Twitter page take up the same space as 12 tweets on a profile that hasn't moved over to the new layout just yet:

I get the fact that the new photo-centric layout is great for brands, but it's not doing anything for me as a user. Personally, I'm not going to change over until I have to, although we did change the official @dmnews profile over yesterday. My question: Why is Twitter trying to be Facebook? It's Twitter! Others agree.

And, to sum it all up:

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