Twitter Has Been Given Another New Coat of Paint

It doesn't seem like that long ago that Twitter was last remodelled, but wouldn't you know it, they're at it again. All versions of the service - mobile, web and desktop - have been changed, and while no new features have been added in, they've done a lot. Many of the fonts, colours and shades have been changed, settings functions have been shuffled around and all the icons have changed shape. In short, you're going to notice.

If you're an iOS user, however, there's one thing in particular which will stand out. Previously, there was a profile icon on the bottom nav bar; that's been removed, instead you swipe right on the home screen to access a page with your profile, account switching and a small cluster of privacy settings. This also means that the 'profile settings' gear icon has been removed, as there's no longer any need for it. This is certainly neater, but it'll take some getting used to.

If any of that sounds eerily familiar, it's probably because you're an Android user. This version of the app has been the standard on Android for almost a year, and its proven success rate is part of the reason it's being migrated to all the other versions of the platform. All the other changes are completely new across the board, however.

Aesthetically, the most noticeable change is the alteration of profile icons, which are now circular instead of square. It might not seem like much, but it's been in the pipeline for a while, and seems to have been inspired at least in some capacity by Messenger and Instagram. The reply icon has also been changed, the arrow has been ousted in favour of a speech bubble, something which gives you a clearer insight into Twitter's current ethos.

If you're OG, you know that the arrow denotes a response, but anyone new to Twitter might be confused by it. A chat bubble, meanwhile, is far more universal, suggesting that Twitter are trying to appeal to newer users first and foremost. One of Twitter's biggest issues is the tendency for new users to fall out of it almost immediately. They'll post a few times, but for whatever reason (diminishing returns, confusing interface, difficult finding accounts to follow), they'll just stop.

Compared to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter's daily active user figures are dangerously low, but in trying to remedy this, Twitter are putting their unique appeal at risk. There's a strange kind of dedication to the service among long-term users, to the point where even changing one icon is risky. This is probably why they've left all the other icons well alone, except to give them a bit of a facelift.

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