New Twitter Has Become Browser Poison

Over the weekend, I noticed that YouTube video would stutter every 3-4 seconds in every browser I tried: the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.

This didn’t used to happen. In fact, I praised Opera for giving me back smooth video playback.

Then Opera 11 beta came. And New Twitter in it was awful. Then Opera 11 Final came and New Twitter in it was still awful.

Things got so bad that during the course of the day, I would cycle through all three browsers!

This weekend, I discovered that if I didn’t have New Twitter open in a tab, all of the problems I’d been experiencing went away!

Video became smooth again. Web pages loaded like five times faster too!

I’ve established that for people with weaker PCs (mine is a 1.8GHz Celeron), having New Twitter open in a tab is just poisonous. It will slow everything down in a browser.

Right now I’m using Firefox again. Only because Firefox has the Echofon extension for Twitter I used originally as TwitterFox. I also have a Speed Dial extension that is superior to Opera’s own Speed Dial (which I love!).

So, if you’ve been experiencing browser slowdowns, close that damn New Twitter tab and I bet everything will get better fast.

And for the techies: Yes, I do have the latest version of Java, Flash, Shockwave, blah, blah, blah installed. I made sure of that early last week. Is it any wonder why people hate their damned PCs and instead want to use an iPad?

Update: See this post.

44 Comments

Filed under Blog Notes

44 responses to “New Twitter Has Become Browser Poison

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention New Twitter Has Become Browser Poison « Mike Cane's xBlog -- Topsy.com

  2. Hmm. My Firefox latest works fine with Twitter. Can’t say much about YT or Vimeo because our speed is bad as hell.

  3. buzu

    I find twitter to be a company that does not know how to ship code. They usually have bugs, and their code is usually not optimized. I really see no reason why twitter would consume as much resources as it does when it’s interface is really simple. They seem to test live many of their features when they are still under development making it a hard pain to be on their site sometimes. I prefer to do mostly everything on a browser, so I refuse to install yet another app to use twitter. I see no point in a single-purpose app to do something as trivial as using twitter. I hope twitter gets better soon, but I kind of doubt it, their site seems to be going backwards performance-wise. What a sad thing…

  4. Mike… THANK YOU – I thought I was going nuts. Twitter has absolutely slowed down in a big way. Josh

  5. You had me until that last line. How does an iPad solve the New Twitter problem, which as far as I can tell is one of poor JavaScript?

    Certainly, on an iPad you are more likely to use a Twitter app instead of web-based New Twitter. But you could also use a standalone app on a desktop machine, no?

    One thing’s for sure: New Twitter is bloaty. I never noticed memory leaks (because I use AIR-bloated Tweetdeck instead. ;-) ) but there’s no doubt that it’s implementing a lot of functionality that is probably superfluous!

  6. Ughh, because people are too stupid to use their computers ?

    No really, it’s always the user of Windows/Mac/Linux etc. that matters and they are responsible for their computer.

  7. you’re still using a Celeron processor? What is is 1999?

  8. Tery

    “Is it any wonder why people hate their damned PCs and instead want to use an iPad?”

    Why don’t you not install flash and shockwave. At least a PC gives you the option rather than making the choice for you. I’m not sure you can blame a PC for the foolish twitter design.

  9. smokes

    try Tweetdeck for chrome..
    by far the best twitter client on a web browser ever..

    its not even a web page.. its an app made in HTML5+CSS plus some chrome api’s…

    using the twitter web is kinda lame
    its no point using the web without embedly extension
    http://labs.embed.ly/

  10. I’ve been using Opera forever, and noticed that which I have the New Twitter loaded:
    1) Things go from slightly slower to jello-like.
    2) My MacBook Pro’s battery drains faster.

    Twitter really needs to fix their over-zealous JS coding.

  11. Oh wow, so that’s what it is. I’ve also been noticing browser performance degradation and I’m on a Quad core i7. Good to know.

    • Me too. I thought I was losing my mind!

      It didn’t help to go back to production release Chrome from beta. Kept on hanging me with Shockwave Flash Crashed and Aw Snap!. Finally I removed my browser extensions one at a time.

      Once the Chromed Bird was gone, and I closed any window that streamed a lot Twitter, performance improved a lot. Not to mention fewer incidents of that unhappy little face saying “Aw Snap!” But what a pain it was to figure that out!

  12. Peter Eide

    “people hate their damned PCs”
    I am willing to bet that if you had some PC hardware as new as an iPad, even one at the same price level (of which there are many desktops that fit the bill), you’d have zero performance issues.

    • mikecane

      Well, you can see other comments here from people with more powerful hardware who are also experiencing this problem. I didn’t have it in the beginning of New Twitter, so I think they changed something that degraded performance.

  13. My approach for Opera – bookmark mobile version of Twitter > check “show in panel” in bookmark properties > enjoy convenient sidebar Twitter without need for any additional software or extensions.

  14. The same video-stops-every-3-or-4-seconds thing happens to me, even without New Twitter open. Which is to say, it’s not the only cycles hog out there.

  15. -

    Summary:
    I’ve established that for people with weaker PCs (mine is a 1.8GHz Celeron) … Is it any wonder why people hate their damned PCs and instead want to use an iPad?

    But really, yes, the problem is twitter – and not just twitter, but web 2.0 in general

  16. James

    I’m on a quad-core Intel system, all software up to date, and Twitter slows down Chrome (only browser I have installed) considerably. Enough that I would prefer to browse without Twitter open.

    Hardly good for their “business model”. I barely check the site anymore.

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  18. James King Auckland NZ

    It’s your own fault for being a faggot with a shit computer. Cheap ass bitch.

    • Chciago Nick

      Only a New Zealand Momo like you would come into a thread like this and attack people you have no clue about who or what they are.

      People like you in real life don’t make it and that’s why you come here to attack others’ from a world away. People like you and James Laughner out in Arizona…You’d get about 5 steps with that smart mouth in my neighborhood.

      Mommy knock the snot outta ya too much or was it the two daddy’s who adopted you from the Bushland?

  19. Solution should be simple: a desktop client. The web versions of Twitter, browser based and twitter itself, have always paled next to desktop clients like Twitter/Tweetie, Tweetdeck, Twitterific. Find one you like.

  20. On my PC scrolling in Twitter with the scroll wheel is painfully slow. Totally new. I don’t think I felt this way when the “new twitter” was introduced, maybe something more recent explains the degraded performances.

  21. T

    I don’t much about twitter but I just use http://www.twitter.com —-Is there much difference between that and the application itself?

  22. Lee

    i had exactly the same problem. Now i’m using tweetdeck instead of newtwitter, and the problem is magically gone!

    having just one tab of newtwitter open, without scrolling it at all, made opera use 30-60 % of my cpu (2GHz core2duo). Closing that tab, its now using 3-4 %. amazing.

  23. Jojomonkey

    Close twitter you sheep.

    • mikecane

      Twitter is great for keeping in touch with people who know things as well as breaking news. I was a Twitter skeptic for quite a while but having news first and access to people who can answer questions is *the* reason to use it.

  24. If I’m using a web-interface for Twitter I usually stick with TwitIQ – much better IMO.

    By the way, 1.8GHz Celeron?? 2002 called – they want their processor back.

  25. Not only new Twitter slows down the other tabs, but is itself sooo slow. Just had my cache & everything cleared with fresh copy of FF opening only Twitter and things are slow. I mean, Twitter, do we really need all that javascript and ajax? I can live without live updates, it’s only a refresh away. Not to mention load drop on your servers.

  26. Welcome to the new web where every kid that can come up with some JavaScript can give you a 100% CPU load.

  27. I’ve noticed this as well, even using Chrome Dev (where each tab in theory is its own independent process) on a ridiculously spec’d Macbook Pro. They’re doing something really wrong, will be interesting to have a DHTML/Scripting guru look into their source code..

  28. Timon

    the twitter website uses so many js dung, for only a few short messages. I can’t understand why it is so slow.

    I have a netbook btw, dual core atom. Still not enough power to tweet. Tweetdeck is much beter voor Atom’s.

  29. It might be helpful for you to know that Twitter doesn’t make use of any of the browser plugins that you list at the bottom of your post, such as Flash, Java, etc. It uses your browsers javascript engine, the performance of which varies browser by browser. I recommend you give Google Chrome a try. Good luck!

    • mikecane

      Yes, some people have taken issue with my listing all those inapplicable plugins. I was making the point that when something goes wrong, out of date plugins are usually questioned first. I’ve used Chrome and the problems have occurred in that too. I’ve now settled on Firefox because I like the Echofon extension.

  30. Dude has no problems on his 3.0ghz dual core with 4gigs ram and a 1g Nvidea card. Our netbook is a little slow, but it’s slow in comparison to anything, except yours, apparently. Mike, it may be time to upgrade. If it’s a desktop it’s easy.

  31. I use Twhirl mostly, and Twitter app for BB. They are fine by themselves EXCEPT FOR that stupid-assed RT function, with which I can no longer keep track of my RTs except by web.

    Twitter’s screwed up a lot of the things about it I found most useful, really. YES, Twitter, I really DO want to see one side of a conversation that might lead me to someone else. YES, Twitter, I really DO want to be able to track back a non-hashtagged conversation more than 2 tweets with a minimum of fuss. It was so simple. So elegant. Annnnd…now it’s not.

  32. Pingback: Has New Twitter Ruined Your Browsing Experience? | Lifehacker Australia

  33. How about the new pop ups for re-tweets asking “wondering who this is?”. If I want to know, I know how to find out. DUH! WTF!

  34. Pingback: 52 Tiger » New Twitter as browser poison

  35. I’ve experiencing glacial slowness on a 3Gig E8400 with 8Gb physical memory, FF / Ubuntu LTS when scrolling through a list of tweets in the web client.

    Exactly the same experience on FF / Chrome on an A110 netbook.

    With htop open, I see CPU on one core spike to ~99%

    Flipping away from that tab usually sorts it out.

    The common factor is the new interface – the old client blasts through with virtually no impact.

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