Back in August, Twitter announced some new features that aimed to help users “discover more.” These features included the “activity stream” and the “@username stream,” both designed to expand on the “@mentions” tab and allow users easier access to information regarding retweets, followers, favorited tweets and more.
Those changes began to appear for some Twitter users late Tuesday, and continue to roll out to select profiles (including this writer’s profile early this morning). Yesterday, some users noticed that the new “@username” and “activity” tabs appeared on their home page – but only for a brief time, disappearing within minutes.
But as of right now, at least for some users, the @mentions tab has been replaced with the @username and Activity tabs. First, let’s look at the @username tab:
As you can see, by clicking @joshgwolf, Twitter now gives me “@mentions and more.” That “more” includes people who have followed me recently, people who have retweeted one of my tweets and people who have favorited one of my tweets.
This stream is particularly useful because it takes some of the clunkiness out of notifications on Twitter. Instead of crowding your inbox with messages every time someone follows you, this stream provides all of that information for you.
Next, we have the Activity stream:
The activity stream lets you look at what’s going on with the people you follow. When you click on the tab, you’ll see tweets that were favorited by people you follow as well as who they just decided to follow themselves. This new view leads to interesting discoveries, like the fact that James Van Der Beek began following Patton Oswalt yesterday.
The new additions to the Twitter interface make Twitter feel even more social. The Activity stream is reminiscent of looking at your Facebook feed, but it doesn’t feel derivative. The @username stream brings everything that happens to you into one, streamlined feed. It’s possible that these new features could help Twitter feel more personal, and put an emphasis on not only what you say, but what you do.