As expected, Twitter updated its mobile app on Tuesday for both iOS and Android devices, suggesting that users will get more than ever before from 140 characters. The look and feel of Twitter on a mobile device is relatively unchanged, but the team at Twitter has added three new features that bring the app closer to a full browsing experience with content provided by those you follow. Here’s a brief description of the improvements:
- Expanded tweets. Instead of tapping links in a partner tweet to view additional content in a browser or other app, the content will expand directly within the Twitter client. Twitter says this feature is rolling out gradually and supports images, video playback and other content preview types. Some of Twitter’s partners include MLB, C-SPAN, Kickstarter and Etsy to name a few.
- Event experiences. This appears to be for iOS only at the moment and it finds the best tweets and photos at specific events. Twitter notes that NASCAR races are a good example of this feature.
- Search improvements. The new client makes it easier to find other users or specific topics with better auto-complete results. Om has said before this signals Twitter’s move to become a post-Google information company.
- Push notifications. With the new client, you can choose to receive notifications when specific people tweet or retweet content; helpful for ensuring that you don’t miss tweets from news organizations or those whose tweets you read religiously.
The new updates are welcome, but also show that Twitter is maturing far beyond its original usage scenario. Instead of a simple one-to-many communications tool, Twitter is gaining content partners on its own, even as its users have been the biggest content partner to date. That could be a double-edged sword, we’ve noted previously, as Twitter, not its users, have greater control over the content it provides.