Twitter first came up with the dark theme in 2016. However, many were not happy with it as it was not a true dark mode. Now, after three years, Twitter has finally listened to those users with a new darker mode called “Lights Out.”
Why Twitter chose pure black?
Twitter added a dark mode for its mobile apps in 2016 and for the web in 2017. A dark mode is usually black, but Twitter’s dark mode was a shade of blue. Though it was easier on the eyes, several users never liked it and continued to demand a true black mode.
In January, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey assured users that Twitter’s darker mode was in the works. On Thursday, Dorsey finally gave users the Lights Out option that makes the existing mode even darker. The feature is only available on the iOS for now, while an Android and web version is expected to come soon.
“It was dark. You asked for darker! Swipe right to check out our new dark mode. Rolling out today,” read a tweet from Twitter.
👋 Twitter, welcome to the dark(er) side.
We’re excited to finally share the updated dark mode, and @design will talk about it from (you guessed it) a *design* perspective on behalf of @sofo, @bhaggs, @davidk, and many other awesome teammates who brought this to life. pic.twitter.com/JCNhZ365I6
— Twitter Design (@design) March 28, 2019
Twitter’s official account has changed its header photo, profile photo and bio as well to reflect the new darker mode. The existing dark mode is now called the “Dim” dark mode in a blue/gray color, while Lights Out uses a pure black color.
Twitter’s design team explained that they chose pure black because it does not emit any light, turns off the unused pixels and makes it easier to read the content, especially in low light.
Additionally, the micro-blogging firm also introduced an Automatic Dark Mode feature for iOS. The feature turns the dark mode on automatically based on the users’ timezone.
“If you’re using Twitter all day long, it’s better on the eyes to have a tool that adjusts for the varying environments, contexts, and atmospheres you’ll experience throughout the day,” Twitter’s design team said.
Why Twitter added the Lights Out option
Along with the demand from the users, many factors encouraged Twitter to come up with a darker mode. Twitter’s senior design manager, Bryan Haggerty, said that the existing night mode was a big hit from the start, but several things have changed since then leading to the development of the new mode.
Haggerty said that they noticed users keeping the dark mode on even during the day. Also, several users upgraded to the OLED screens, which can efficiently emit the pure black. Another big factor was that it improves the color-contrast ratio for those with low vision.
“Giving people this option to decrease the light actually improves readability for people with photosensitivity,” Twitter’s director of user research, Liz Ferrall-Nunge, said.
Further, the team said that based on the feedback from the Twitter community, they had changed the name of the night mode to dark mode as “it wasn’t just being used at night.” Also, the icon has been changed to reflect the new name.
How to enable Twitter’s darker mode?
Twitter’s darker mode is available in the Settings section of the Twitter app. The new option can be used along with the current Dark Mode to make it even darker for the OLED displays. Though Twitter’s new darker mode works best with the OLED, those on LCD will also see a darker shade than before.
Considering OLED’s ability to light up the visible pixels, Twitter’s new darker mode should result in additional battery life for the latest iPhones, including the iPhone X and XS, along with reducing strain on the eyes.
To get Twitter’s darker mode, first open the Twitter app on the iPhone and then swipe right. Next, go to Settings and Privacy, then Display and Sound. Now, click on the dark mode toggle to enable the current dark mode. Next, select the new Lights Out option for the darker theme.
A must for apps
Dark mode is a trend nowadays with every major app offering such a mode, such as Google Maps, Waze, Pocket, iBooks, Kindle, Medium, Reddit, YouTube, Google and more. WhatsApp is also reportedly working on a dark mode.
App makers prefer such a mode because it conserves the battery life of the devices. Also, it is easier on the eyes and is useful when the phone is used for a long time.
The Wall Street Journal also talked about the need for darker themes. As per the Journal, darker themes not only help with the battery life, they may also help in reducing device addiction and improve sleep.