Make no mistake, the current new Twitter rollout is a big change. Big enough to succeed in ways that Orkut, Buzz and Google Wave could not. (I won’t review the feature set here as there are plenty of those available. Take a look at the links at the end of this post). While Twitter itself shies away from the fact that they may becoming more of a social engine, communication features tell a different story. Now the big difference here is the fact that unlike a ‘traditional’ social network or collaboration tool, you can of course follow anyone you please, unless of course their tweets are private, which is not the default.
While Twitter looks at themselves as a broader newscasting and informational tool that enables us to follow our peers, more and more of us are using the service to collaborate via sharing. The new tools enhance our ability to communicate with and find one another, and as a result will help to directly escalate the development of our ideas within this collaborative environment. Once the rollout is complete it will be interesting to see which direction this goes. My bet is that Twitter accidentally succeeds where others have failed.
For those of you who do not have access to the new Twitter, watch the video here.
For functionality and feature set reviews, the most recent articles from a few different sources:
Fast Company: How the New Twitter Gives Your Favorite App a Run for Its Money
Daily Beast: Twitter Unveils New Design