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Twitterrific for Mac is Back: First Impressions and Comparison With Tweetbot

After raising over $100,000 on Kickstarter earlier this year, The Iconfactory today has released an all-new, completely reimagined version of Twitterrific for Mac priced at $19.99 on the Mac App Store [Direct Link] in the United States. The Iconfactory said its goal was to deliver a minimal Twitter client, like the original Twitterrific for Mac, but with a feature set that caters to how people use Twitter in 2017, as opposed to 2007. Only eight months have passed since the crowdfunding campaign began, so some key features are still missing at launch, but The Iconfactory promises they will be added in subsequent updates to the app. I was provided with an advanced preview of the brand new Twitterrific for Mac over the weekend to try out, and I've gathered some of my first impressions as a longtime Tweetbot for Mac user

Twitter App Disappears From Apple Watch Following Latest iOS Update [Updated]

Twitter last night updated its iOS app to version 7.8 to patch a bug that prevented users from uploading photos in high resolution, but the same update also appears to have removed the company's companion Apple Watch app from the App Store. As noticed by users on Reddit and Twitter, after updating the Twitter app on iPhone the Apple Watch app has subsequently vanished, and Twitter has yet to comment on whether or not the app's removal is permanent. On Apple Watch, Twitter users could view their timeline to browse recent Tweets made by people they follow, check out top trends, and Tweet directly from the Apple Watch using a voice-to-text feature. Now, any mention of Twitter offering an Apple Watch app has been removed from the app's page on the iOS App Store. MacRumors forum members pointed out earlier this week that the Twitter app on Apple Watch began crashing and had trouble displaying the Twitter icon on notifications following the launch of watchOS 4. This means Twitter could be working on the app behind the scenes to get it up and running again for the new operating system on the Apple Watch, but it's also a possibility that the app is gone for good. If it is, Twitter will fall in line with a series of high-profile Apple Watch apps that have pulled support for Apple's wearable device this year. Over the course of a few months in the first part of 2017, Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay all quietly removed their Apple Watch apps from the App Store without many people taking notice until May. Google and eBay said the move was to rework the apps and debut new

Twitter Testing Expanded 280 Character Limit for Tweets

Twitter today announced that it is going to "try out" a longer character limit, doubling the current 140-character limit to 280 characters. The 280 character limit is going to be available in languages that are "impacted by cramming," aka all languages aside from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Tweet with traditional 140-character limit on left, new 280-character limit on right. According to Twitter, most tweets in English have 34 characters while most tweets in Japanese have 15 characters, and Twitter users tweeting in English hit the 140-character limit more often, which can be a "major cause of frustration." Twitter says the new character limit is "only available to a small group" of users at the current time as it gathers data and feedback on the impact of the change. It won't roll out to all users until Twitter is sure that it "works" for the Twitter community, but Twitter is hoping 280 characters will "make it easier for everyone to Tweet."We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters - we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.Twitter has had a 140-character limit in place since the service first launched in 2006, so a character expansion is a major change to the way Twitter works. Originally, our constraint was 160 (limit of a text) minus username. But we noticed @biz got 1 more than @jack. For

Twitter Night Mode Now Available on Desktop

For the past few weeks, Twitter has been testing a Night Mode option for its desktop site, and as of today, the new Night Mode feature is rolling out to all Twitter users. Designed to turn the Twitter interface darker to make it easier to read tweets at night, Night Mode can be enabled by clicking on your profile photo and choosing the "Night Mode" option from the drop-down menu. Turning it off is as simple as clicking the Night Mode setting a second time. With Night Mode enabled, the traditional light colored interface is made darker with a black overall background and a darker blue background for tweets. Because Night Mode is enabled manually, it will stay activated until it's turned off. Night Mode has been available on iOS devices since August of 2016 through the main Twitter for iOS app. Night Mode on the desktop is currently rolling out to Twitter users so you may not see the option under your profile right

Twitter Rolling Out Tweets Organized by 'Popular' Topics, Based on Your Interests

Twitter this week began expanding a new section of the Explore tab on iOS and Android, where it will populate tweets aimed at each unique user based on their own interests. Twitter confirmed the update's appearance to BuzzFeed, and it follows a few months after Twitter debuted a notable redesign for its mobile apps and website. The new categories in Explore include topics such as "Popular in Literature," "Popular in Video Games," "Popular in eSports," and more, with tweets taken from a combination of accounts followed and not followed by the user. Like other quiet updates, some users may have noticed these changes weeks ago, while others will just begin getting them now, and they can be found by tapping the magnifying glass "Explore" tab on Twitter's iOS app, then scrolling down below Trends and Moments. Twitter said that these topics will be "based on what they know about your interests," but it wasn't made clear exactly how Twitter gains that information, although liked tweets and followed accounts are likely sourced. The company said that it will "eventually" give users more control over this section and allow them to tell Twitter when they don't want to see a specific topic, further helping the app curate personalized tweets. 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

Twitter Adds Extra Filtering Options to Mute Abusive Accounts

Twitter has introduced additional new tools in its account notification settings to help users further reduce the likelihood of receiving offensive replies or seeing abusive account names. The new social network tools include options to mute notifications from accounts that have just been registered, as well as accounts you don't follow, and accounts that don't follow you. All of the settings can be toggled in the Advanced Filters menu, accessed by tapping the cog at the top left of the Notifications screen, or by tapping your user profile picture and selecting Settings and privacy -> Notifications -> Advanced filters. Now you have even more control over your notifications. Mute accounts that don't follow you, new accounts, and more. https://t.co/UapP6DtTtY pic.twitter.com/RcBQGx219k— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) July 10, 2017 The expanded filtering tools follow on from filters the social media company introduced in March that let users more easily weed out abuse, such as hiding messages from accounts without a profile photo, linked email address, or phone number. The company also recently modified its Messages section to separate out DMs from people you don't follow, making it easier to accept or delete them. Twitter has denied a report that claimed it was testing a feature that would let users flag tweets that contain misleading, false, or harmful information. The feature was said to be in the prototype phase and part of the company's strategy to prevent abuse of its

Twitter Reveals Major Redesign With Faster Navigation, Cleaner Interface, and Subtle Design Tweaks

Twitter today revealed a new design coming to twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, TweetDeck, and Twitter Lite over the next few days and weeks. The company said the redesign was intended to make an app that's faster and easier to use, while also fixing things that users didn't like about the current design. The first new change is a new side navigation menu with profile, additional accounts, settings, and privacy, which Twitter said results in fewer tabs at the bottom of the app and reduces clutter. This brings all of Twitter's various apps more in line with the current iteration of the service on Android. On iOS, links to articles and websites will now open in Safari's viewer within the Twitter app, which will let users easily access accounts on the websites they're already signed into. Subtler design updates include a more universal typography shift with bolder headlines and rounded profile photos. The company said that all of these visual overhauls make it easier for users to navigate Twitter and "focus on what's happening." Last year, we told you exactly who we are (Twitter is what’s happening!) and refreshed our brand. Today, with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product too and making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better. Hoping to make the service accessible to newcomers, more intuitive icons intend to make it easier to engage with Tweets. The reply icon (currently an arrow) will now be a

New Twitter Inbox Feature Flags Unsolicited Direct Messages As 'Requests'

Yesterday, Twitter began rolling out a new feature in the Messages section of its official app that separates out DMs from people you don't follow in order to make it easier to accept or delete them. In the Twitter iOS app, regular messages from people you know will appear in the Inbox as normal, while all other DMs will be flagged as Requests. Messages of the latter kind can be previewed without the sender being notified, while options are provided to accept and notify the sender, or delete the message without notifying them. By default, any media attached to an unsolicited message won't be revealed until you accept the DM, to protect users from inappropriate content, although this setting can be disabled. If you’ve opted-in to get Direct Messages from anyone, messages from people you don’t follow will go into requests. https://t.co/n1qasb7JZC pic.twitter.com/HQY20T5f6t— Twitter (@Twitter) 30 May 2017 The feature is similar to the system Facebook uses in its own Messenger app, and appears to have been adopted by Twitter to minimize the potential for online abuse. The company is still in the process of rolling out the new inbox function, and it will only show up for users who have turned on the setting that allows messages to be received from people they don't follow. The Twitter app is a free download from the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link

Twitter for Apple TV Gains Support for Live 360 Degree Video and Periscope Global Map

Twitter today updated its app for the Apple TV, introducing support for live 360 degree videos, making it the first Apple TV app to support such a feature. Following the update, Apple TV users can watch live 360 degree videos directly on their television sets, navigating through the scene with the Siri remote. The new version of the Twitter app for Apple TV also includes support for the Periscope Global Map, letting users find user-created Periscope content from around the world. Much of Twitter's television content comes from its content deals, but there is also a wealth of user-generated video sourced from Periscope that can be watched within the Twitter for Apple TV app. Along with an update to its Apple TV app, Twitter has also updated its iOS app. As noted by TechCrunch, the iOS update offers up new settings to connect a Twitter account stored on an iOS device to the Apple TV, letting users view their Twitter account on the Apple TV. There's one other Twitter update, which includes support for Emoji 5.0. Emoji 5.0 was released in March and includes emoji like grinning face with star eyes, vomiting face, face with raised eyebrow, elf, mermaid, zombie, giraffe, pretzel, and more. While Twitter has implemented support for the new emoji, Apple has not, so these characters are only visible when using Twitter for web. Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Partners With Bloomberg for 24/7 Live Streaming News Network Launching This Fall [Updated: New Shows]

Last week, Twitter announced plans to launch a network of news-based TV shows that would stream on the social media company's apps 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now, a report by The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Twitter will be partnering with Bloomberg in its live streaming endeavor, and together the two plan to launch a service "that will stream news produced solely for Twitter," and is set to debut sometime in the fall of 2017. The network, which has yet to be officially named, will showcase the "most important" pieces of news going on every day around the world, and Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith mentioned that it will be "broader in focus" than the media company's existing network. The Bloomberg/Twitter hybrid won't be a simple rebroadcasting of Bloomberg's existing news streams, but consist of all-new reporting from various global Bloomberg bureaus. Twitter's contribution to the network will come in the addition of crowdsourced footage being added into news pieces through videos posted on Twitter during related news coverage. “It is going to be focused on the most important news for an intelligent audience around the globe and it’s going to be broader in focus than our existing network,” said Bloomberg Media’s chief executive officer, Justin Smith. “We really think we can reach audiences that are not paying for TV and are watching television on the go and we think Bloomberg is the perfect partner for us to start with,” said Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief financial and operating officer. The monetary aspect of the deal was not disclosed by

Twitter Working on 24/7 Live Streaming Network of TV Shows to Rival Current News Outlets

Twitter is gearing up to launch an always-on, live-streaming video section of its apps and desktop site, which would run 24/7 and is ostensibly referred to as "Twitter TV" (via BuzzFeed News). The news comes from Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto, who said the 24/7 video update would be an expansion of Twitter's current live video efforts, which in the past have covered big events like the Presidential inauguration and pre- and post-shows for the 2017 Oscars. Live video has become such a pillar of success and growth for the social network that it's helped Twitter gain access to advertisements in the 15-to-30 second range, for which advertisers "typically write big checks to TV networks." A beefier lineup of live videos on an always-on network could boost Twitter's profits even higher, although Noto noted that the launch of such a service will still take some time. Specific type of content beyond news, sports, and entertainment reporting -- like scripted shows -- was not revealed, although it appears the company intends to strictly focus on current events coverage. Noto did mention that the company is "working on many, many things," however. “We will definitely have 24/7 [video] content on Twitter,” Noto said during an extensive interview about the company’s live video strategy last week. “Our goal is to be a dependable place so that when you want to see what’s happening, you think of going to Twitter.” Twitter will take some time to reach its 24/7 programming goal, Noto said, without offering a timetable. But he indicated much more programming in the

Tweetbot for Mac Updated With Ability to Send Photos in Direct Messages, Username Reply Changes

Tweetbot for Mac has been updated with support for a number of changes that Twitter has introduced in recent months. The most notable change is that users can now send images within Direct Messages, in line with official Twitter platforms. Clicking on the new camera button to the left of the message field within a Direct Message brings up a Finder window for selecting images, which are displayed in-line within the conversation. Meanwhile, when replying to a Tweet, the usernames of the people you are replying to no longer count against Twitter's 140-character limit. Tweetbot still provides the option to do a "classic" reply, where usernames are included within the Tweet, by holding down the Control key while clicking the Reply button. The app's developer Tapbots has also fixed an issue where a fullscreen Tweetbot window may not have resized when a Mac's screen resolution changed, fixed a potential crasher when viewing collections for a user that had a large number of collections, and fixed an image-related issue in tweet detail view. Tweetbot for Mac version 2.5 is a free update on the Mac App Store [Direct Link] for existing users. The app initially costs

Twitter Announces 'Lite' Mobile Web Service to Minimize Data Usage

Twitter announced a faster version of its mobile service on Wednesday with the launch of "Twitter Lite", a web-browser based experience that aims to mimic the social media app's main features while minimizing data usage. Twitter Lite can be accessed on mobile browsers from mobile.twitter.com and takes up less than a megabyte to load up, according to the company. It also features a further data saving mode that blurs images and video until the user taps on them. Twitter claims the Lite web app loads in under five seconds on most 3G devices and can save up to 70 percent on data. Today, we are rolling out Twitter Lite, a new mobile web experience which minimizes data usage, loads quickly on slower connections, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and takes up less than 1MB on your device. We also optimized it for speed, with up to 30% faster launch times as well as quicker navigation throughout Twitter. Twitter Lite provides the key features of Twitter—your timeline, Tweets, Direct Messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications, and more. With Twitter Lite, we are making Twitter more accessible to millions of people—all you need is a smartphone or tablet with a browser.The Lite flavor of the social media service rolls out globally from today, but Twitter is mainly targeting markets outside the U.S. and has timed its release with the start of a major cricket event in India, which is home to 1.3 billion people. Other countries where the company said it expects Twitter Lite to be most useful include Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Argentina

Twitter Replaces Default Egg Profile Photo

Twitter today announced that it is doing away with the egg profile photo that was used for any Twitter account that did not upload its own profile picture. Over time, the egg, which has been around for many years, has come to be associated with accounts created to harass others, giving the egg a negative connotation that Twitter wanted to do away with. Instead of the egg, Twitter is introducing a new default photo profile that's designed to encourage people to upload their own photos "for more personal expression." Twitter aimed to create something that was generic, universal, serious, unbranded, temporary, and inclusive, and which felt more like a placeholder than the egg. The company went through many profile photo iterations before landing on a simple gender neutral line-based figure in a generic shade of gray. Twitter's new default profile photo has already rolled out and people should be seeing the figure instead of an egg on any account without a user-uploaded profile picture. Twitter can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Will No Longer Count Usernames Towards 140-Character Limit

Twitter today announced that usernames such as @MacRumors will no longer count towards the 140-character limit for tweets. Now, the usernames of anyone who a user is replying to will appear above the tweet rather than within the tweet itself, so that users have more characters to have conversations. Twitter said users will be able to tap on "Replying to…" to see and change which users are part of the conversation. Twitter already stopped counting photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets towards the 140-character limit for tweets last September, and it removed the 140-character limit from Direct Messages in August 2015. Twitter said this update is rolling out now on the web as well as in the Twitter app for iOS [Direct Link] and

Twitter Considering Paid Subscription Tier for Professional Users on TweetDeck at $20/Month

Twitter is said to be "considering" whether to implement an all-new paid subscription tier that would be introduced in a premium package for TweetDeck, Twitter's popular desktop client, and be aimed directly at professionals (via Reuters). If enacted, this would be the first time Twitter charges users for any part of its social media services, which began eleven years ago in March of 2006. A mockup of what the premium TweetDeck subscription service could look like Twitter is looking at providing a professional experience for people on TweetDeck that would pack in advance tools and features not found anywhere else on the service. The premium package would cost $19.99 per month, be accessible on both desktop and mobile, and include the following features: - Exclusive news/alerts summaries personalized for you - Content management tools like bookmarks, to-do lists, and 'save for later' - Cross posting to other social media platforms - Advanced custom trend analysis and alerting tools - Exclusive content on social media best practices and strategy - Enhanced tools for managing and creating custom audience lists (e.g., by interest, customer, or region, etc.) - Exclusive priority customer support - The ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts - Advanced publishing features (e.g., scheduling, collaboration, drafting, etc.) - Advanced tools for sorting or filtering searches - An ad-free experience - Analysis tools for understanding topics or conversations on Twitter - Ability to access this experience on both desktop and mobile devices - Ability to securely

Twitter for iOS Gains New Option for Clearing Cache

The Twitter app for iOS devices was today updated to version 6.73.1, adding a small but important feature that allows users to have more control over the amount of storage space Twitter uses on an iPhone or iPad. A new storage setting lets users see how much storage space Twitter is using for cached images and web content, and it offers an option for clearing stored data. Users can choose to clear Media storage or Web storage independently. Some Twitter users appear to have a dedicated "Storage" section, while others are seeing the information listed under "Data usage," so it's not clear what the final storage UI will look like. Twitter's new cache clearing option will be a welcome addition for users who frequently use the default app. Prior to the introduction of the storage setting, the only way to clear a large Twitter cache that was taking up a lot of space was to delete and reinstall the Twitter app. The new option brings the official Twitter app in line with third-party Twitter apps like Tweetbot that already offer a cache clearing option. Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Doubles Down on Safety With Expanded Filter Options and Quicker Response Times

Twitter today announced a list of new features for the web and mobile that plan to leverage the company's learning technology to drastically reduce harassment on the service. The updates will place more tools in the hands of the users to "control your experience," and overall Twitter said it intends to be more vocal and "communicate more clearly" about the actions it takes in the realm of online safety. The company's first step is an overall boost to its learning algorithms that it says can detect when accounts are violating the Twitter Rules repeatedly, or otherwise engaging in abusive behavior, and take actions prior to even getting a digital abuse report from other Twitter users. Abusive accounts will then face repercussions, "such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets." Our platform supports the freedom to share any viewpoint, but if an account continues to repeatedly violate the Twitter Rules, we will consider taking further action. We aim to only act on accounts when we’re confident, based on our algorithms, that their behavior is abusive. Since these tools are new we will sometimes make mistakes, but know that we are actively working to improve and iterate on them everyday. In terms of tools, users will now have even more filtering options for notifications so that basic "egg" accounts with a profile photo, and those with an unverified email address or phone number, can all be filtered out completely. Expanding on the mute feature implemented last November, users will be able to more easily gain access to mute words or entire conversations

TwIM is a New App for Communicating via Twitter Direct Message

TwIM, released today, is a new app that turns Twitter's Direct Messages function into a dedicated chat app, ignoring all other Twitter features for a clean, simple DM chat experience. Because it is based on Twitter's Direct Messages feature, TwIM can be used to chat with any Twitter user through a search function that can locate people via name or username. Messages are turned into in-line content previews with support for tweets, photos, GIFs, emoji, maps, and websites, plus the app has its own built-in face emojis called TwiMoji. iPhone features like 3D Touch are supported, and the app includes built-in Siri functionality for sending messages through Apple's voice assistant. Push notifications for incoming messages are supported, as are rich notifications, and there's a useful share extension for quickly sharing text, photos, URLs, maps, and more from other apps. For people who often use Twitter's DM feature to communicate with friends and family, TwIM is worth checking out. TwIM can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Officially Launches Enhanced 'Explore' Tab on iOS to All Users

Last October, Twitter began testing out an enhanced version of a new "Explore" tab on its iOS app, giving a small group of users access to trending topics, simplified search tools, and "Moments," the news aggregating feature which previously had its own dedicated tab within the app. Beginning today, the "Explore" tab will be available to all users on the iOS Twitter app, giving them one-stop access to trends, search, Moments, and live video. According to Twitter, the tests from last year went well, and users told the company "that the new Explore tab helped them easily find news, what’s trending, and what’s popular right now." In the blog post today, Twitter also pointed out that "nothing is going away," simply that various parts of the app are moving into the new Explore section. When users tap on Explore, they'll see breaking news via a live video header with trending topics underneath, and further news stories under a "Today's Moments" section. Over the past year, we’ve been exploring different ways to make it simpler for people to find and use trends, Moments, and search. During our research process, people told us that the new Explore tab helped them easily find news, what’s trending, and what’s popular right now. Nothing is going away – we’re just making it easier to find what you want. Explore will begin rolling out today on Twitter for iOS, and in the coming weeks on Twitter for Android. Make sure you have the latest version of your app to check it out. And of course, we will continue to listen to your feedback to make Explore even better,