For those of you old enough to remember the original Twitter (okay, I know it wasn’t that long ago) the first design was quite narrow, too narrow given modern monitor widths, but it had one very nice benefit; it gave us plenty of room for really cool custom backgrounds. When viewed on a 1280 pixel wide monitor we had a whopping 250 pixels to work with on the sides, plenty of room for logos, photo of our friends and family, custom artwork, etc. The screen shot below shows how Twitter looked when viewed on a 1280 x 1024 pixel monitor.
Then along came Twitter 2.0, around September of 2010, and they decided to stretch the width to rather ungainly (even wider than YouTube) dimensions. They did this to widen the right panel, leaving more room for information and media to be displayed. In doing so, they cut the space we had to work with for our backgrounds by more than 50%, down to 108 pixels on a 1280 wide monitor. Although many people kept their backgrounds as they were since they still looked okay on 1600 pixel and wider monitors, many of us redesigned our background to fit so things weren’t cut off for the 40% or so who were viewing on something less than 1600 pixels; small laptops and iPads, for example. Here’s what Twitter 2.0 looked like.
So, here we are, after about 8 months, with Twitter 3.0. The area on the left where our tweets appear seems to be about the same width but the right side panel width has been decreased, giving us back more than half of the background real estate we lost with Twitter 2.0. Unless Twitter is playing a cruel joke on us and reduced the width to make room for a third column, for now anyway, we have about 172 pixels of background area on the sides on 1280 pixel monitors. And by the way, the new width just happens to be exactly the same as Facebook’s. Can I get an Amen?