Twitter's been trending on its own social network this week over a much-hyped announcement... and now it's been revealed. So what do we have? A relaunch of the Twitter.com, as it turns out. The format seems to follow the two-column style we saw recently in its iPad app, with the left side showing the stream and the right providing all the other content. The biggest addition here is embedded content: depending on the link, it'll now open in-line in the right column. Sixteen media providers are on board, including YouTube, Vimeo, Ustream, and all popular picture services. The search bar and settings has been given placement at the top of the site in its own header. Rollout begins today to select members, but there's no current announcement on when everyone will get the new experience. With any luck, it won't be long. In the meantime, you know the drill... pics below!
Update: ... and we're in! So we've spent a few minutes going through the interface, and we have to say, it's quite sleek. The in-line content makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Conversation threads are vastly improved, but it only shows one reply back at a time -- you can go through an entire timeline, but it takes far too many clicks. The best thing about it? Quite snappy. It isn't perfect, though: it seems the @mentions thread updates much more slowly -- that's particularly irksome, having to refresh for a quicker response. At the risk of sounding vain, the "My Tweets, retweeted" section could benefit from actually showing the number of retweets in the left column -- we'd love to know at a glance which of our recent messages were most popular without having to click on each individually. Usual rules apply, no extension to the 140 character limit and no support for multiple accounts. No word on a new fail whale, but not to worry, we'll let you know as soon as you see it.
We're not quite ready to give up our dedicated Twitter clients (Tweetie, TweetDeck, and so forth), but it's definitely up there now as one of the best-designed Twitter interfaces. Really, though: fix the @mention refresh and conversation threads, and we're sold. Pictures below.