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Twitter gets Windows Phone update

Twitter has spiffed up its Windows Phone app, giving it a makeover and new features aimed at making it easier for users to discover and share content, the social network has announced.

The new design has already been available on Twitter's iOS app - as well as on Android - for some time. In a blog post, Twitter's mobile programme manager, Charles Wu, said the Windows Phone update "brings the app in line with other Twitter apps." As such, many of the design changes will likely sound familiar to those on the competing platforms.

For starters, there's a new navigation structure with four tabs — Home, Connect, Discover, and Me. From the Home tab, you can view tweets from the accounts you follow and tap a tweet to expand it and see more content, such as photos, videos, or website summaries.

The Connect tab will let you keep up with your mentions, see who has followed you, and see when someone retweeted or favourited one of your tweets. The Discover tab will let you see trends and find new content while the Me tab lets you read and respond to direct messages, see your lists and favourites, and update your profile.

Besides the new look, the latest version also lets users of Microsoft's mobile OS compose a tweet or search from anywhere within the app using the new icon buttons in the Application Bar. It will also have "live tiles" so you can "pin Twitter accounts, lists, and searches to your start screen." This feature should give Windows Phone users a quick way to access their favourite Twitter lists and other content.

Twitter for Windows Phone, as the latest version is formally known, is available for download now in the Windows Phone Store.

The Windows Phone Store has "experienced a significant increase in activity" as of late, Microsoft said this week. According to the company, the store is now home to more than 130,000 apps. The average Windows Phone user has downloaded 55 apps. App downloads have increased by 75 per cent since the Windows Phone 8 launched last year, while paid app revenue has jumped 91 per cent.

The Windows Phone developer community is also growing, Microsoft said. More than 40,000 new developers registered with the company in the first 90 days since its launch of Windows Phone 8.

Meanwhile, in other Twitter news, the company this week announced plans to release a version of its mobile app for Firefox OS devices once they become available. The first Firefox OS phones will launch this year in nine countries, with others to follow, Mozilla said this week at MWC.