Twitter revamps timeline with new conversation view

One of Twitter’s defining characteristics is its conversations. People can gather in the Twitter public square and talk to each other about politics, current events, sports, and emergencies. But it hasn’t been all that easy to follow those conversations.

Twitter on Wednesday revamped the way conversations unfold in your timeline in an update to its iOS and Android apps as well as the desktop version of Twitter.com. Tweets in a conversation will appear chronologically in your timeline instead of just showing up willy nilly. The first three tweets in the conversation will show up sequentially connected by a vertical blue line—the rest can be seen by tapping on one of the tweets.

Twitter's new conversation threading organizes tweets in order, making it easier to follow the back-and-forth.

The design tweak seems small, but it’s actually a big deal that makes following the frantic pace of back-and-forth tweets a little easier. Let’s be honest—tweets will still roll in at the same breakneck pace, but now with slightly less whiplash.

The update includes more sharing features, like emailing entire conversations instead of individual tweets (available only on Twitter.com, not the apps). Your friends don’t have to be on Twitter to read the tweets or conversations. On Android, you can share a tweet in a direct message.

Android improvements

Android users will now see the “report tweet” button in-app as part of their update—iOS users have had the feature for a few weeks.

Twitter is also working to make the app experience better for Android users on lower-end phones like the HTC Explorer and Samsung Galaxy Y. Basically, the app is now half its original size, so it can run more smoothly on phones with less storage.

“We’ll continue to work on improvements targeted at entry-level Android smartphones so that Twitter is more accessible to people everywhere around the world,” the company said in a Wednesday blog post.

Twitter’s optimization for basic phones is key as the network remains an essential organizing tool for democratic activists in developing countries.

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