UPDATE: On June 23—Twitter added this warning:
Will turning off the old Twitter.com interface cut down on spammers?
Interestingly, some third party services use browsers to access Twitter, instead of through the API. Why? Because they’re doing things Twitter doesn’t want users to do, like over-automating following and unfollowing. By doing it through a browser, and setting delays on actions (follow someone every so many seconds, for example) they are trying to trick Twitter into thinking they are human.
But new Twitter doesn’t work the same way, and I’m told not all third party software systems have figured out how to use it for following/unfollowing in order to trick Twitter into thinking they are human. So the day that the old Twitter.com interface is turned off, some Twitter automation software will stop working, or will have to operate less aggressively by using the API. Since spammers use Twitter automation pretty much exclusively, getting rid of the old Twitter.com could cut down on some of the more aggressive following and unfollowing by spammers.
When Twitter introduced the new Twitter.com site on September 14, 2010, they began saying that the old Twitter.com would go away in “several weeks.” Later they began saying that the “older version of Twitter…won’t be around much longer.”
Smart move by Twitter
Waiting to make the change seems like it was a wise move. When Twitter came out with the new interface, there were a lot of complaints. The majority of users stayed with the old interface initially. If Twitter had just forced the change onto users, there would almost certainly have been a loss of some users (and many switching to different interfaces).
Shortly before Twitter rolled out the new interface, Digg.com rolled out their new interface. Within a few weeks it was clear that Digg was losing users rapidly due to the change. Twitter could have shared the same fate.
But now, more recent polls show Twitter users adapting to the new Twitter.com interface, with many preferring it, or switching to other interfaces. So it seems like it is about time to retire the old Twitter interface.