Well, folks, they managed to pull it off. Twitter has somehow made itself worse than it already was.
The company on Monday announced the rollout of its new desktop design, touting it as “a refreshed and updated website that is faster, easier to navigate and more personalised.” If I may, it looks like scrambled shit. It also serves up a bunch of unneeded changes over fixing some of its bigger problems.
The new layout puts emphasis on trending hashtags and search, bookmarks, and lists, and an admittedly sleeker design. Mike Kruzeniski, senior director of product design at Twitter, told Wired that the company is “trying to find the right places to be bold again, but it’s a resetting of that foundation. Starting with the best stuff and building from there.”
Twitter has always struggled to make its conversation model work, an arguably futile endeavour given its format. But its new desktop design is even trickier to read than it already was, somewhat impressively. (Of course, none of us should be reading Twitter anyhow. Perhaps this was a gift?)
There are some neat features, to be sure. For one, the new Twitter for desktop introduced a darker dark mode and other options for customisation. It also created a function to more easily toggle between multiple Twitter accounts directly from the navigation bar. Both are fine perks. They’re not going to fix the site, though.
And listen, change doesn’t ever come easy for social media sites unveiling big overhauls. But aside from my own opinion that the new design makes the feed harder to read, Twitter users also have some complaints – namely, that a long-requested edit button has yet to materialise. Also, the Nazis.
CEO Jack Dorsey said at a Goldman Sachs event earlier this year that he was “thinking about” an edit function that would allow users to “clarify” their bad tweets, evidently as a kind of response to cancel culture. One idea he was toying with was allowing users “to quickly go back ... to any tweet, whether it be years back or today, and show that original tweet – kind of like a quote retweet, a retweet with comment – and to add some context and some colour on what they might have tweeted or what they might have meant.”
As for the scum that Twitter refuses to ban from its platform? The elephant in the room Twitter really should be tackling? It appears its interest in fixing its busted website stops at a design change no one asked for.