Logging onto Twitter this week may have felt familiar to people who consume the site on their computers — controversy over something the president has said, astonishment over record-breaking temperatures.
But while the content seemed unchanged, the social network had overhauled its look.
This week, Twitter unveiled a redesigned version of its website, greeting desktop users with a new appearance and added features that included dedicated pages for bookmarks and exploring topics.
The company described the new Twitter as a “a refreshed and updated website that is faster, easier to navigate and more personalized,” bringing the desktop version closer in look and feel to the Twitter people use on their phones.
Dominated by a white background and thin borders, the Twitter home display is divided in three columns.
One is for navigation, with icons that take users to dedicated pages like lists, direct messages, and notifications; a second, central column is the feed of tweets; and a third is for searches, trends and recommendations for people to follow.
The page for direct messages has been expanded, the company said, to allow users to read conversations and send messages from the same view, resembling an email inbox.
People now can select a second dark mode that’s closer to black than gray. And users with multiple accounts can switch between them from the side navigation column.
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But the changes users see on the surface arrive as the social network faces deep-seated criticism about how it operates. As with its industry peers Facebook and Google, Twitter has come under fire from a broad array of critics, including the president, lawmakers from both parties, academic researchers, and advocates for women and minority groups.
A long-standing complaint against Twitter — that it fails to protect users from abuse and harassment — was advanced again by researchers and activists earlier this week, following a series of tweets sent by President Donald Trump in which called on several Democratic members of Congress to “go back” to their countries — prompting widespread condemnation.
But the company said the president’s tweets did not violate its rules, which ban attacks on people on the basis of their race, ethnicity or national origin.