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Is Twitter Testing Ajax Updates?

In the last two days, a couple of usersnoticed a new, Ajax-based interface on their Twitter home pages. Apparently, this new interface will allow users to scroll through their timelines without having to refresh the page. This, by itself, would not be a major new feature, but it hints at a larger refresh of Twitter’s user interface.

Making Way for Real-Time Updates and Monetization?

One of the advantages of using Ajax to display updates on users’ profile pages is that this could also allow for pushing real-time updates to your Twitter stream in the near future. Currently, you have to reload the pages manually.

As Kristen Nicole points out on SocialTimes, the increased (or at least perceived) competition from Facebook might be pushing Twitter to release new features on its own, instead of almost solely relying on third-party developers. While there are distinct differences between the cultures on Twitter and Facebook, Facebook’s new API could open the way to more competition between the two services.

Also, while Twitter’s strategy of opening up its API and encouraging innovation by third-party developers has made the service the success it is today, it has also made monetizing Twitter even harder. The standard Twitter profile home page is very basic, and anybody who wants more features has to use a third-party application. The most active Twitter users hardly ever visit the site, as the interface is too basic. Instead, they rely on tools like Tweetdeck or Twhirl to interact with the Twitter API.

Have you seen Twitter’s new Ajax updates in action? If so, let us know in the comments.

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