Twitter is about to get a whole lot faster. The microblogging giant announced Tuesday that it is restructuring the way it renders Twitter on the Web to allow for speeds up to five times faster than the previous iteration allowed. As part of this plan, Twitter is killing the “hashbang” (#!) URL, and making other changes to “optimize for speed.”
“To improve the twitter.com experience for everyone, we’ve been working to take back control of our front-end performance by moving the rendering to the server,” writes Dan Webb, Twitter’s engineering manager, in a company blog post. “This has allowed us to drop our initial page load times to 1/5th of what they were previously and reduce differences in performance across browsers.”
In addition, Twitter is gradually doing away with hashbang URLs, which required a bit of a technological runaround to work. The company has started with tweet permalinks (like this), and will eventually kill the hashbang structure altogether. For example, my Twitter profile link is currently: twitter.com/#!/andrewcouts. Soon, it will just be twitter.com/andrewcouts. (You can of course type in the latter and it will work, but that’s simply a redirect to the hashbang URL).