• Posted on February 28, 2014

Twitter Social Layout (2014)

The past few weeks Twitter has been slowly releasing a new layout for their website that resembles the looks of Google Plus and Facebook profiles. I’m not sure why Twitter is trying to compete in these markets since Twitter is completely different from those. Like a lot of people I know, you might really dislike this new layout. I personally dislike it since each tweet can take up nearly my whole screen making it very difficult to skim through a profile.

If you haven’t seen the new layout yet, you can look at the image below. Also, I’ll tell you how you can get the new layout on your computer to try it out.

New Twitter Layout

Removing the New Layout

Since the new layout isn’t based on profiles but only based on sessions and cookies, you can make sure you won’t see the layout but it won’t affect how people see your own profile. They could see the old version or the new version, there is no way of changing that.

  1. Open up Developer Tools inside of your web browser while on Twitter.com. In Chrome you can press F12 or CTRL+SHIFT+J
  2. Navigate to the “Resources” tab on the top bar of the Developer Tools panel / window.
  3. Under “Cookies” find the domain name “twitter.com”. You will want to delete the cookie of “guest_id”. This cookie is for both logged in and guest users, odd name for a cookie though.

Once you delete the cookie and reload the website, you should see the old profile. If you don’t, you will want to repeat the above steps a few times. If that still doesn’t work, this method probably no longer works or Twitter finally made the new layout the default. The reason this method works is because of A/B testing. The guest_id cookie controls what version of the site you are seeing. Since they don’t want to keep switching how the site appears to a single person and confuse them, the cookie stores data to make sure you see the same layout every time you visit.

Viewing the New Layout

If you are like me and want to test out the new layout, there is one way to do it, but it isn’t the most effective method and will take a little bit of time.

You will want to open up the Developer Tools in your web browser again, but this time you want to go into the Javascript Console or “Console”. We are going to keep deleting the cookie and reloading the page until we have the new layout. From my experience, it can take up to about 50 times to get to the new layout.

Below is the Javascript you will paste into the Developer Console and then press “Enter” to run it. You can usually use the arrow key up to load the previous code and press enter again and keep doing that until you see the new layout. And as a note of security, be careful when someone gives you JavaScript to run in a browser since it can be used to gain access to your account.

document.cookie = 'guest_id=;path=/;domain=.twitter.com;expires=0'; window.location.reload();

The code above does two things. The first command is to delete the guest_id cookie. It does this by setting the value to nothing and also setting it to expire at “0”. The second command is to reload the webpage. This code has to be ran on twitter.com or it won’t work.