Twitter is testing a TweetDeck redesign it hopes to make a subscription product – TechCrunch
Twitter ad today, it will begin testing a new set of features for TweetDeck, the company’s oft-overlooked social media dashboard for power Twitter users, which Twitter may soon turn into a new subscription service. According to a message from Twitter Product Manager Kayvon Beykpour, the revamped version of the Twitter client will include a full tweet composer, new advanced search features, new column types, and new ways to group columns into clean workspaces.
Earlier this year, Beykpour announced Twitter’s plan to introduce a revised version of Tweetdeck. In an interview with The Verge, he admitted that Twitter hadn’t “given TweetDeck a lot of love recently,” but said that would change soon with a redesign, which he then described as a “pretty big overhaul. from zero”.
The update appears to keep that promise with a handful of notable changes.
For example, Twitter tells TechCrunch that the new Tweet Composer will let you add GIFs, polls, or emojis to your tweets, including scheduled tweets, not just photos and videos, like before. You can also write discussion threads and tag your images.
In addition to the large list of existing column options, users will be able to access new types of columns including Profile, Topics, Explore, Events, Moments, and Bookmarks. Unfortunately, this seems to have come at the expense of other column types, including Activity, Followers, Likes, and Outbox, which have been removed.
The new advanced search function allows you to use Boolean queries. And you can now choose between showing the best tweets or the latest tweets in the first columns.
But one of the smartest new additions to the app is a feature called “Decks,” which will let you organize sets of columns into separate workspaces. It could help users who want to create different workspaces associated with different themes or interests. Or, for social media managers, maybe it could help them track tweets related to their many different clients.
Despite the benefits some changes might bring, a number of responses from testers who had access to the new TweetDeck were not so positive. Users particularly complain about the loss of the activity” column option that appears whenever someone you follow on Twitter bookmarks a tweet or follows another user, as well as the column of missing messages.
Others are bored that the timeline by default the best tweets instead of new tweets, that you can’t create a column for your direct messages, and that the collections have disappeared. Some have said that it is too difficult to resize the columns and they didn’t know how use it with multiple accounts. Others said it was necessary a lower scroll bar and the ability to turn off images. As one user said, “[This] is not a new TweetDeck. It’s a multi-column Twitter.
Worse yet, an article from TweetDeck itself about the update seemed to show a completely different kind of app than people were used to – with wide columns and a really large photo image taking up too much space. These would be the kind of changes that would ruin the information-rich experience that most TweetDeck users prefer.
However, a more reassuring screenshot Twitter employee Eric Zuckerman, who works in press partnerships, showcased a version of the new TweetDeck that looks a lot like the app people know and love, with tight columns, smaller images, full size smaller font.
The Twitter post also promoted the updated TweetDeck as something that “would further incorporate what you see on Twitter.com,” which further confused and concerned many TweetDeck users who responded by pointing out that they use TweetDeck because it does not look or function like Twitter’s web application and is free of many additional features Twitter presents.
Twitter engineer Angelo Tomasco clarified that the changes aren’t just about making TweetDeck “look more like Twitter” – they’re about a shared infrastructure that will bring health and safety updates to TweetDeck and allow Twitter developers to spend less time to catch up with Twitter so that they can instead, create new features and respond to user comments.
Whatever your opinion, you can at least be assured that the version of TweetDeck that is coming to testers today is not the end product.
Twitter says it will roll out the new version to a small group of randomly selected people in the United States, Canada and Australia to begin with. (Of course, application researcher Jane Manchun Wong has already found a workaround for this limitation, if you are interested!)
And Twitter says it will listen and respond to user comments on the changes.
It will, in fact, as Twitter tells us this test is to explore how it might make TweetDeck part of its subscription offerings going forward.
“With this test, we hope to collect feedback to explore what an improved version of TweetDeck might look like in Twitter’s subscription offerings later,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “We will have more to share later as we learn from this test,” they noted.