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Adaptive Design to Accommodate Twitter UI Changes

Adaptive Design to Accommodate Twitter UI Changes

What does it mean to be the world’s smartest social media archiving service? We think about this a lot. We built Brolly to bridge the gap between new technology and the way organisations engage with people. This means understanding where people are communicating and how our service can adapt to the way they engage.

Facebook and Twitter are both accepted communication channels, where anyone can connect with their favourite brands or rage against organisations online. One of the challenges Brolly faces is accurately capturing the important content and conversations being published on these platforms, when the User Interface (UI) is constantly evolving.

In the last month, Twitter rolled out the most substantial design changes they’ve made in years. Wired describes them as; “every solid gray icon is now a lighter outline drawing. Headers now appear in bold, to help you navigate more easily. The home icon is still a birdhouse, but it lost the perch—you’ll see just one hole instead of two. A little less bird-y, perhaps? Round avatars help distinguish users from tweets. Retweet and Like counters update in real time, letting you watch tweets go viral. And the reply button gave way to a speech bubble that Twitter hopes is clearer in its purpose.”

Why should this matter to a social media archiving service? It’s all about context. Twitter’s most recent re-design was to make the experience easier for users, but the evolution of these social media platforms can have real impacts on the conversations people are having.

In some cases, UI changes provide new data (think Facebook’s introduction of emoji reactions) or provide new options for organisations to manage and view conversations (Twitter now features live ‘like and ‘retweet’ counters on each Tweet). From an archival perspective, Brolly needs to evolve with these changes and be able to capture content in real time, while preserving the look and feel of the original message.

Sounds impossible right? Wrong. We’re up to the challenge. Brolly doesn’t just scrape data from these social networks, but actively adapts so that our users can see the UI changes represented in our feed. Our unique screenshot service also captures what the message looked like to the public, preserving the look and feel of the network at the time it was posted.

We take our mission of being the smartest social media archive and engagement service seriously and this means adapting to changes in the networks people are using.

Want to find out more about Brolly or are you interested joining a passionate and innovative team? Contact us at