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Twitter Fly gives Android users a well-matched mobile experience

by Kristen Nicole

Twitter pushed through its second major overhaul this year, launching an entirely new mobile experience for Android users called Twitter Fly. The timing couldn’t be better — I’d just written about Twitter’s rejuvenated attention to the Android platform, and this week’s update solidifies the social network’s dedication to the mobile scene. For the first time, Twitter’s Android app matches their iPhone version in features and design, presenting a unified upgrade and end-user experience across the board.

Revamping social discovery and advertising

There’s two areas Twitter’s really looking to broaden with Fly: social discovery and brand marketing. The update centers around four new tabs that help you better navigate Twitter, delineating content beyond the home page. The “Connect” tab is where your conversations take place, viewing mentions and other activity, such as who’s followed, retweeted or favorited one of your tweets. The “Discover” tab taps into a customized stream based on topics of interest, curating the important tweets for you. The “Me” tab is the new profile section where everything centers around you, from direct messages to how your profile is presented. The “Tweet” tab is for sharing photos, videos, links and location.

The enhanced profile page also makes it easier for brands to leverage Twitter for marketing, as the Promoted Tweets page will auto-expand, as will media shared from friends’ tweets. Another noteworthy update beyond the new tabs is the new posting limit on tweets. The guideline imposes a 1,000 tweet limit per day and an hourly limit as well, though Twitter hasn’t said exactly how many tweets will get your account blocked.

Surviving the curated age

In the era of curated content and personalized delivery, consumers are presented with an array of news readers that incorporate socially-generated content. Companies like Flipboard have set the standard on integrated readers with a social slant, encouraging a new take on how Twitter content is parsed and served up to users. In typical Twitter fashion, the network’s begun to create its own features first made popular by other services feeding off its ecosystem, making the direct Twitter experience more functional.

Twitter has improved the way media is presented to users. It’s getting more competitive with its redone interface and branding. Rivals like Facebook and Google+ are also reformatting the way social content is presented — just this week Facebook’s new Timeline rolled out to users in Australasia. The changes on Twitter’s website will appear to users over the next few weeks, though all mobile users should see the redesign immediately.