Last week, I noticed that I’d been blessed with The Gift of The New Twitter. Since I go to my Twitter page about as often as I go to church, I may have had it for a while and just not noticed. For shame!
Anyway, the first thing I noticed was that my carefully crafted, super-rockin’ Twitter background was compromised. My background was designed to work in the left 190 pixels or so, but now, even with my browser window at full screen, it’s barely getting full exposure. My primary machine is a 15″ MacBook Pro with a resolution of 1440×900 – not exactly a narrow screen – so I’ll need to rework it.
There’s a more comprehensive writeup over (with PSD files!) over at Mashable, but basically new Twitter starts at a minimum width of 920 pixels and maxes out at 1040 pixels, compared to old Twitter’s static width of 763 pixels. The timeline is 540 pixels wide, with the right area (your tweets, followers/following, who to follow, etc) expanding from 380 to 500 pixels depending on available browser window width.
I think the new Twitter page layout is a real improvement, in particular the bigger emphasis on “who to follow.” For many casual users, it’ll give them a bit more functionality and perhaps keep them using the Twitter website instead of an app – something I’m sure the Twitter folks are eager to encourage. But in the end, I just don’t care all that much. I use Tweetie and Tweetdeck on my laptops and Twitter for iPhone on my phone, so it won’t change how I use the service. However, Twitter is taking is taking ownership of their own pages a bit more. The vast expanse of wide open space for branding your with a Twitter background image will be less visible now – we’ll all have to be a bit more thoughtful how we use the available space.