New Twitter features focus on you, those you follow
The upcoming @username and Activity layers will help Twitter users better see what's happening with their own tweets and also uncover new tweets from the people they follow.
Twitter is rolling out a couple of new features that should help you find more revelant tweets, especially those that involve you.
As of yesterday, the microblogging site is replacing the familiar Mentions tab with a new tab that displays your username, according to the company's official blog. Clicking on your username tab will reveal more than just tweets in which you're mentioned. You'll be able to see which of your own tweets are considered Favorites or are retweeted by someone also. You'll also see tweets directed to you and which tweets are popular among the people you follow.
The second feature rolling out this week is a new Activity tab. Nestled next to the new Username tab, the Activity feature will display the latest Favorites and retweets from the people you follow. You can also see who they're following. It's a way to combine and condense similar information all in one single spot to better discover what your followees are up to.
For now, Twitter is pushing these changes to just a small number of users, according to TechCrunch. But assuming all goes well, the new features should pop up for more tweeters over the next few weeks. The new tabs will only show up on Twitter's full Web site and not on its mobile site.
Twitter is also keeping busy testing its latest URL shortening service.
The site plans to officially debut its t.co shortener next Monday, which will automatically shrink URLs 20 characters or more. Twitter had done somemore than a year ago and . But the new shortening method will fully wrap each link in a t.co URL rather than truncating the full link as it does now.
As of yesterday, Twitter has been field testing the new shortening method on a certain number of tweets and direct messages to make sure no glitches pop up as the t.co link wrapping scales up. Though the company isn't necessarily anticipating any problems, it's asking users who bump into an issue with the new shortening behavior to report them, which you can always do via the company's support account.