Though Twitter just recently redesigned its homepage, the company announced a much more sweeping, ground-up revamp of Twitter.com at an event in San Francisco today. As related by Evan Williams (who does not, it turns out, have anything to do with the inexpensive yet tasty bourbon of the same name), Twitter’s web client is used by almost as many people as every other Twitter client combined. So when Twitter.com sees a major redesign, it’s going to affect how millions of people communicate.
The new web app takes inspiration from the Apple iPad’s native Twitter app, a two-paneled system. The right-side panel shows everything you’d want to access, helped along by Twitter’s added support for a whopping 16 image and video uploading services. That means you can forget about opening links in new tabs or windows–Twitter’s right-hand panel will take care of it all.
Click on a tweet, and you’ll see a preview of a TwitPic image, a playable YouTube video, or an entire conversation (including the source of a reply, which is a nice touch that’s been missing). It’s a nice and succinct way to incorporate all this new information into a single place.
The left-hand column is the Twitter feed as we knew it — except that now, like Google Image Search, it uses an unlimited scroll. No more clicking that “More” button–you can just keep scrolling down forever. Hopefully that won’t slow the site too much; Twitter made it very clear that the new web app is designed to be fast, efficient, and responsive, so we know they’ve thought about it.
This redesign is going to have a major effect on the social lives on some of the biggest Influencers on the web. It’s easier to share videos and photos, which could help Influencers such as iJustine or Roger Ebert spread the word about projects–and make Twitter a much stronger destination for original media. But when these influentials will get the upgrade is an open question. Twitter was vague about the specifics of when the redesigned site will be available to all but a select subset of users.