Twitter’s app update introduces a trio of swipeable timelines

Caitlin McGarry
11 December, 2013
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Twitter version 6.0 is here, and the updated iOS and Android apps are another step toward making the social network a more mobile, more visual place to be.

Now you have three timelines: your main one; your Discover timeline, which shows you trending topics and recommendations of new people to follow or interesting tweets; and your Activity timeline, which shows what the people you follow are up to, including the people they’ve followed and the tweets they’ve favourited.

Direct messages also got an overhaul in keeping with Twitter’s new photo-friendly format. You can now view images within DMs, which makes Twitter’s version of private messaging more personal. Maybe the network really is planning to spin off its own separate messaging app.

This update gives Messages a designated icon in the bottom navigation bar, so no more digging for DMs from your profile. Twitter found the space for a Messages icon by moving Discover to one of three timelines.

If you’re tired of getting notifications any time any person anywhere interacts with something you’ve tweeted, Twitter for iOS now allows you to customise your settings so you only see replies, retweets and favourites from the people you follow. Twitter for Android lets you customise notifications by starring specific profiles. Search results are getting similar personalised treatment: Search will surface tweets from people you follow or people nearby as top results.

Twitter is acting like a startup with this update by offering a walkthrough of the app’s features. It’s common for new apps to give visual guidance on features, but an established app like Twitter? That’s pretty rare. But the network is working to grow its user base in the wake of its IPO (initial public offering), so explaining how to use its apps in the simplest of terms does make sense.

The update is a continuation on Twitter’s current theme: make it mobile, make it visual and make it easy.

by Caitlin McGarry, TechHive

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