When a major social network alters its look and feel there is a predictable pattern: Surprise, rage and usually acceptance.
On Tuesday, Twitter Inc. announced some changes to its Web-based profile pages – bigger photos, some more customizing tools – some of which had been hinted at and leaked online.
The company blog used celebrity pages to show users how awesome and exciting it was going to be, @flotus (otherwise known as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama) got top billing, but Scandal star @kerrywashington and musician @JohnLegend were also in the early group. The objections by users focused on one chief complaint: Hey, this looks a lot like Facebook (for several more profane versions of user responses see @Twitter's official tweet). Even if the core mechanics of Facebook and Twitter couldn’t be more different, the idea that your personal homepage looks similar to the hated Zuckerberg-machine (with its billion users) is enough to anger some tweeters.
- “Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.” As you can see above, the text on @channingtatum's Jump Street photo is larger)
- “Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.” Presumably this is an upgrade on the experience of writing your Twitter bio, which most people use as a form of performance art.
So, to recap: Twitter has redesigned! People don’t like it. Eventually, they will stop grumbling because it may actually be a good thing. Welcome to social media.