I finally got #newtwitter yesterday and my first thought was “Damn! Does this sidebar have to be this big?!?!”

After I got over that initial shock, I kind of started diggin’ it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always have beef with that big ass sidebar, but there are other positives from the new design. I’d like to share the pros & cons with you.

1. Keyboard shortcuts – Love, love, love these! If you aren’t aware of them, you need to be. They’re very cool, and it only took a few minutes for me to learn & commit them to memory.

2. Embedded Media (e.g. pictures, video) – You no longer have to click on a twitpic/plixi link in order to view a picture. Same for twitvid. Very cool.

3. Tweet Details (in sidebar) – If you click on a tweet, it will appear in the sidebar space with some additional information. I like this a lot (even though I think the space could/should be smaller). You can see who retweeted said tweet, replied to it, and the user’s other tweets in the side pane. Very neat.

Room for Improvement
I don’t really have a feeling, either way, with regards to the moved general navigation (profile, mentions, retweets, searches etc) because I’ve already memorized the keyboard shortcuts. But I am disappointed that there isn’t a shortcut for Lists. I use lists religiously and would most definitely use that shortcut a lot.

And again, the sidebar does not need to be that big. Twitter probably could have gotten away with it being 60-75% as big as it currently is. We don’t need 2 columns worth of info over there. 1 column was just fine, IMO. With the space bar allowing us to page down, it would hardly be an inconvenience. Just a thought.

Final Verdict
Until Twitter.com offers support for multiple accounts, a lot users won’t be using it exclusively. I know I won’t. I have quite a few accounts, and tweet regularly from them throughout the day. #newtwitter offers no support for this, and until they do, a large percentage of users will probably continue to lean on 3rd party services like Hootsuite (love!), TweetDeck, and Seesmic for their tweeting needs.

Having said that, I think #newtwitter is good. The only thing I hate is the size of the sidebar. I think everything else is an improvement. This is a far cry from when Facebook redesigns its interface. I haven’t liked a single one of those…