Overall, the changes to Twitter are both simple and profound. Instead of one long pane containing tweets from your tweeps and compressed links to external sites, you get two panes. On the left is the usual stream of inane nattering; on the right, Twitter displays the personal profile of each tweeter, or the images, video, maps, and other stuff they are linking to.
It's much more visually appealing and -- more important for Twitter's purposes -- it doesn't force you to leave Twitter.com to learn more about who's tweeting and what they're tweeting about.
The other difference is that the new Twitter is essentially endless. You don't have to click the "more" button at the bottom; you can just keep scrolling through tweets until somebody is tempted to dip a tortilla chip into your cranium.
As Read Write Web's Richard McManus notes, this changes the essential nature of Twitter from one of participation to one of consumption -- making it more akin to YouTube than Facebook. You don't have to tweet in order to play along; you can just watch what other people are tweeting.
In other words, Twitter 1.0 was for narcissists. Twitter 2.0 is for voyeurs.
My first reaction to the new Twitter is: lt looks way cool. My second reaction is, who has time for this? I know who: casually dressed people who spend all of their time hanging out in bookstores, listening to vinyl albums, and gazing at the stars -- i.e., the unemployed.
Hey, at least they picked a large target market. Give them props for that.
Are you going to use Twitter 2.0? Post your thoughts below or email me: email@example.com.
This article, "Twitter 2.0: Not just for narcissists," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.