It seems like Twitter has been changing its core social networking service in a whole lot of ways lately, and now the company is at it again. Today Twitter announced that it will be launching redesigned “Follow” and “Tweet” buttons next month.
For both types of buttons — which appear on many websites — the light gray background that’s been used since 2011 will be replaced by the signature Twitter blue, or something close to it. The idea is that the white letters on the buttons will pop out more than the current black lettering.
The new buttons for tweeting bring some technical changes that developers will need to bear in mind. Twitter Platform partner engineer Niall Kennedy explained the updates in a blog post:
Tweet buttons make authoring a Tweet from the context of a current webpage quick and easy. We are simplifying the Tweet button by removing the share counter displayed alongside the button. This new display removes the count and counturl display parameters, and will render in the same pixel dimensions as a Tweet button configured without a share count today.
The Tweet button has displayed share count over the last five years by querying a JSON endpoint hosted on various domains. These private JSON endpoints have been used by third-party developers over the years to retrieve a simple share count of any URL. These endpoints will be shut down next month when the Tweet button removes its share count feature. The Twitter REST API’s search endpoints are the best way to gather ad-hoc information about a URL shared on Twitter; full-archive search counts are available from Gnip.
Other recent changes include suggestions about who to follow in your timeline, direct message desktop notifications, user profile previews, the addition of birthdays on Twitter profiles, the removal of custom profile page background wallpaper, and, of course, long direct messages.
Meanwhile, the company has started testing out product and place pages and collections, allowing users to do things they never could before.
The bigger picture is that Twitter has been pushing to attract more users while dealing with a change in leadership. New features show the company isn’t stagnating.