Twitter Introduces New Mobile Site, Leaves Out Lists
Twitter is on a roll. After announcing new mobile apps for iOS and Android, signing a deal with MediaTek to embed Twitter on millions of feature phones, and reworking search, Twitter announced that it has completed work on delivering a new mobile Twitter site which is faster, more compact, leaner, and consistent across platforms. The new version, which resembles the one that's been available for smartphones for some time now, works across any mobile browser including on feature phones.
Apparently Twitter had been working on the new design for the past nine weeks and tested it on 300 different mobile devices that it has in its offices. The redesign gives the mobile site a look that is consistent with its full site as well as the current apps for iOS and Android. Twitter is intent on delivering the same experience no matter what platform people access it from although it still has some ways to go.
It's clear from the MediaTek deal and this redesign that Twitter wants to expand its reach into emerging markets. In tackling that, it needs a mobile site that is faster to load, smaller in size, and sends fewer requests to the server. Twitter says that the new mobile site is up to 63% leaner than the old version, it scales well across different sized displays, and it is also faster to load with 63% fewer requests per page.
Twitter says that one of the challenges it took on was to "pave the way for even more feature consistency with other twitter.com clients". Whether the mobile version will deliver expanded tweets for brands and promoted tweets remains to be seen, but it looks like one major feature was left out. The new mobile Twitter does not incorporate lists.
Ever since Twitter had a change in top management with Dick Costolo being promoted to CEO and Jack Dorsey returning to the company to focus on its products, list has been set aside slowly across its products. It's not as easily accessible on the iOS and Android apps, it's almost hidden on the full website, and now it doesn't even exist on the mobile site.
Lists are useful for those who want to follow specific topics from specific accounts but may not want to see continuous updates every time they load their timelines. By creating an alternative timeline using lists, those who use them have the option to step away from the regular timeline into a completely different scene and receive a different set of information without having to be flooded all the time.
It's uncertain whether lists will remain on Twitter at all or whether it's just not a priority at the moment. New Twitter users may not even be aware that lists exists on Twitter so perhaps Twitter just isn't interested in lists anymore.
Perhaps Twitter discovered that lists hasn't been that popular among its more average users so it left it out from the mobile site. A question on Quora on the lack of list support on the mobile apps remains unanswered for months.
Those who are used to using lists will find the new mobile site lacking, but for the majority of users who don't, and those new to Twitter, the mobile site will provide them with a far more enjoyable experience in using Twitter on mobile devices.