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Posts tagged with "twitter"

Twitterrific for iOS Adds Black Theme, Dynamic Type, Temporary Muffles, Poll Support, and More

Twitterrific 5 for iOS was updated today with several new and improved features. My favorite addition is a true black theme that looks striking on the iPhone X. Users that pick the black theme are given a choice between a dark theme that has been modified for ‘greater contrast and clarity’ and the true black theme.

The app’s design has undergone other changes too. Users can pick avatars that are rounded rectangles, circles, squares, or squircles, and text sizes can be adjusted with more granularity thanks to the use of Dynamic Type.

Muffles, which are rules that partially hide tweets from your timeline, can be temporarily disabled now. Previously, the only way to deactivate a Muffle was to delete it.

Twitterrific’s experimental support for polls, which debuted on macOS recently, has been added to the iOS app too. To celebrate the holiday season, The Iconfactory has also added a new icon option: ‘Jolly Ollie,’ which features Twitterrific’s mascot in a Santa hat.

Twitterrific is available on the App Store.


Twitter Rolling Out Official Support for Threads

Twitter's latest feature – which is rolling out "in the coming weeks" – is another that's been inspired by something users have been doing for a few years now: threads.

From the Twitter blog:

At Twitter, we have a history of studying how people use our service and then creating features to make what they’re doing easier. The Retweet, '@reply', and hashtag are examples of this. A few years ago we noticed people creatively stitching Tweets together to share more information or tell a longer story – like this. We saw this approach (which we call “threading”) as an innovative way to present a train of thought, made up of connected but individual elements.

Now, hundreds of thousands of threads are Tweeted every day! But this method of Tweeting, while effective and popular, can be tricky for some to create and it’s often tough to read or discover all the Tweets in a thread. That’s why we’re thrilled to share that we’re making it simpler to thread Tweets together, and to find threads, so it’s easier to express yourself on Twitter and stay informed.

We’ve made it easy to create a thread by adding a plus button in the composer, so you can connect your thoughts and publish your threaded Tweets all at the same time. You can continue adding more Tweets to your published thread at any time with the new “Add another Tweet” button. Additionally, it’s now simpler to spot a thread – we’ve added an obvious “Show this thread” label.

As far as I can tell, this is a prettier interface for the original method of creating a thread by replying to yourself. Twitter has integrated a multi-post feature into the app's compose box, and there doesn't seem to be a new API endpoint for threading. It seems like a nice workflow with a 'Tweet All' button at the end. In theory, popular third-party clients could replicate the same behavior (and design) in their own compose UIs – just like various tweetstorm utilities create "threads" by posting multiple replies in a row.

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Tweetbot for iOS Adds 280-Character Tweet Support

Yesterday, Twitter extended the character limit of tweets to 280. Unlike some features, Twitter has made the new tweet length available to all third-party developers.

First out of the gate is Tweetbot by Tapbots. Less than 24 hours after Twitter’s announcement, Tweetbot users can use a full 280 characters in tweets. I expect we’ll see additional updates from other Twitter client developers soon.

Tweetbot is available on the App Store.


Twitterrific for macOS Adds Poll Support and Other Refinements

The Iconfactory is on a tear with Twitterrific for macOS updates. Version 5.0, the crowdfunded rebirth of the app, launched less than a month ago. A couple of weeks later, Twitterrific 5.1 added muffles and mutes, which we discussed on AppStories this week. Then yesterday, Twitterrific 5.2 dropped, with support for polls and and an enhancement of its user search functionality.

Poll support is notable because third-party developers don’t have access to Twitter’s polling APIs. Instead, users of third-party Twitter clients have had to go to the official Twitter client or the web to vote in polls, which I rarely bothered to do. Lack of API support hasn’t stopped The Iconfactory from implementing a workaround to make polls available to its users though. The feature isn’t perfect, but in my preliminary testing, I’ve been impressed with how well it works.

Twitterrific detects tweets that include polls by looking for clues like whether ‘#poll’ or the graph or ballot box emoji are used. The app also looks at the format of the question posed. If a tweet looks like a poll, Twitterrific displays a button below the text of the tweet. When the poll button is clicked, a popover with a mini-browser opens the poll so you can vote and see the results. If you want to monitor a poll, drag the popover away from your timeline to transform it into a standalone window that will stay put and can be refreshed with the latest results.

Poll creation still requires Twitter’s app or website, which cannot be avoided. Nonetheless, I can already tell that being able to open a poll, vote, and view results all from Twitterrific is going to increase my participation in them. For now, the feature is available on macOS only, but it is under consideration for the iOS app depending on how well it is received by users on the Mac.

Use the Cmd+U keyboard shortcut to search for a Twitter user quickly.

Use the Cmd+U keyboard shortcut to search for a Twitter user quickly.

Twitterrific also added fast user searching via the Cmd+U keyboard shortcut and has improved syncing of your timeline position between iOS and macOS. Next up for both versions of the app is support for Twitter’s new 280-character tweet limit, which, unlike polls, is available to third-party developers.

If you’re interested in trying a new Twitter client, Twitterrific is an excellent choice. The handful of gaps in the macOS version’s original feature set are being addressed rapidly and innovative approaches to things like polls set it apart from its competitors.

Twitterrific 5.2 is available on the Mac App Store.


Twitter Adopts 280-Character Tweet Limit

Twitter extended the 140-character limit of tweets to 280 characters for a test group of users in September. In a blog post today, Twitter’s Aliza Rosen proclaimed the test a success noting that the additional characters have been used where needed, but that most tweets remain under the previous 140-character limit.

As a result, Twitter has begun to roll out the new feature worldwide for every language where ‘cramming’ was an issue. The company describes cramming as:

the deviation of the actual length distribution from the theoretical log-normal distribution near the character limit — “cramming,” as it likely reflects people’s attempts to “cram” their Tweets within the character limit.

In plain English, cramming is when your tweet is just a little long, and you spend time editing it to fit into 140 characters. According to Rosen:

Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending. With the expanded character count, this problem was massively reduced – that number dropped to only 1% of Tweets running up against the limit. Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.

Cramming is a bigger problem for some languages than others. At the other end of the spectrum are languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, which can express more in fewer characters and will continue to have 140-character limits.

The new tweet length limit is still rolling out to users. If you don’t have 280 characters to work with yet, check the official Twitter again later because it will undoubtedly take a while to propagate to all users.


Twitter for iOS Adds Topic Feeds to Explore Tab

Alex Kantrowitz of BuzzFeed shares news on a feature Twitter recently rolled out in its iOS app:

Now you can view tweets sorted by topic, without having to follow anyone, right in Twitter's Explore tab...Twitter's algorithms will show you these topics based on what they know about your interests. Eventually, the platform will give users more control over what they see, the spokesperson said. The company will roll out controls that allow people to tell it they don't like a topic, which will inform Twitter's decisions on what to show them.

These featured topics are the first major addition to Twitter’s app since it launched a refreshed design earlier this summer; combined with those previous changes, topics make the Explore tab a more attractive place than ever to visit. As the home to search, Moments, trending hashtags, and now tweets organized by topic, Twitter has created an information hub worthy of one of its four primary tabs.

My favorite tidbit from the Buzzfeed piece is that Twitter plans to give users more control over which topics they see. Hopefully this isn’t limited to simply disliking certain topics, but instead will extend to offering full control of topics you want to see. There are certain topics I’d love to keep up with, but that I don’t necessarily want to follow specific accounts for, so a full-fledged list of topics to choose from – whether those topics relate to accounts I’m currently following or not – would be great.


Twitter Launches Redesigned UI Across iOS, Web, and Other Platforms

Announced in a blog post earlier today, Twitter has a major update to its iOS app and other platforms rolling out to all users starting today.

The new design is inspired by Twitter’s Android client – and while that detail scared me at first, using the updated iOS app for a few minutes allayed all my fears. This is a clean, beautiful redesign that brings few drastic alterations, and instead focuses on lots of nice polishing touches.

The most significant change to the iOS app is the existence of a new sidebar menu that pops out from the left side of the screen. This menu provides a quick way to switch between different accounts, and also lists your Following and Follower counts, navigation buttons to access your Profile, Lists, created Moments, and Settings, as well as a handy toggle to switch Night Mode on and off. Everything in the sidebar is clear and well organized, with plenty of breathing room; my initial impression of this new menu is entirely positive.

Outside of the sidebar menu, the rest of the app feels very familiar, but with a variety of small tweaks that improve the overall experience.

  • The reply icon has changed to a speech bubble, purportedly to create less confusion for new users.
  • With your Profile now available from the sidebar, that leaves only four main navigation tabs: Home, Search, Notifications, and Messages. They all have fresh new icons that look great.
  • Safari View Controller is now the default viewer for opening links. For a long while Twitter had been testing Safari View Controller with some groups of users, but making it universal is a welcome, long-overdue change.
  • Reply, Retweet, and Like counts will update in real-time as you use the app.
  • A variety of visual improvements, such as updated typography that includes the use of bold headers for different sections, rounded avatars, and more.

There’s more to explore, but that covers the bulk of changes.

Overall, I am a big fan of this redesign. The changes add up to a freshly improved, yet still familiar Twitter app, and my fear that it would too strongly resemble an Android app were unfounded. It may closely resemble Twitter for Android, but this still feels very much like an app that belongs on iOS.

Twitter says the changes are rolling out over the next several days, so it’s possible you may not see them yet. Twitter for iOS is available on the App Store.


Twitter Adds Filtering of Direct Messages From People You Don’t Know

If you have opened your Twitter direct messages to receive messages from anyone, Twitter now separates them into two buckets: an Inbox and Requests. Your Inbox collects DMs from people you follow, while Requests are DMs from people you don’t follow. You can review Requests without the sender knowing you’ve reviewed their message until you accept it. If you accept a request, that person’s direct messages will be delivered to your Inbox in the future.

Based on some preliminary testing by The Verge, it appears that the new direct message handling functionality is slowly rolling out to users across Twitter’s apps and website.


Twitter for Apple TV Updated with Periscope Global Map

Twitter has updated its Apple TV app with an interesting new way to view Periscope videos from around the world. The feature is called Global Discovery, and it was announced in a tweet earlier today.

Once you open Global Discovery in the Twitter app, you'll be presented with a zoomed out view of Earth. The face of the planet is scattered with various pins representing different Periscope streams that are currently live. It's a clever way to discover live videos from radically distant parts of the world. I enjoyed being able to easily hop between Periscopes from areas in the U.S. and others in Asia, on the other side of the world.

Navigation in Global Discovery is limited to four options: you can scroll around the face of the globe, move from pin to pin (and thus video to video) on the planet's surface, and zoom in or zoom out. Switching between these options can be done at any time using the Siri Remote's Play/Pause button.

Global Discovery is a nice evolution of the Map view found in Periscope's iOS app, and one that takes advantage of the big screen to great effect.