Twitter unveiled the changes, which resemble the mobile version of its site, today (8 April) with the promise users will find it “easier” to express themselves in a “fun” way. A larger photo profile and a “Best Tweets” function alter the entire aesthetic of the page, which is now available to select and new users.
The profile picture and brief description, which were once at the top and center of the page, have been pushed to the left, providing more space for Vines and pictures as well as a customisable header. Additionally, the boxes containing recommended accounts and current trends have been moved to the opposite side of the page.
The setup aims to ensure a user’s “best content is easy is easy to find”, Twitter says. Prominent Twitter advertisers Adidas, HP and Microsoft are currently testing the theory.
Adidas’ page, for example, used one new feature to “pin” a tweet about brand ambassador Kanye West to the top of the page earlier today (8 April), while also allowing users to switch between timelines including “Tweets”, “Tweets with photos/videos” or “Tweets and replies”. Previously, users could only filter the tweets of those with verified users accounts.
Elsewhere HP’s “Best Tweets” – those that have received the most replies retweets and favourtites – now look larger. Microsoft is using the customiseable header at the top of the page to promote its Windows software on tablet devices.
The design changes, the most radical in Twitter’s 8-year history, have drawn criticism from some industry observers who feel the site is becoming too similar to Facebook. The visual overhaul is indicative of the growing race for users between the larger social networks that has already seen the likes of Facebook and Google+ make recent tweaks to their designs.
Twitter is hoping the move helps it overcome successive quarterly slowdowns in user engagement with its timeline. The company’s average timeline views per monthly user rose by just 26 per cent in 2013 compared to 31 per cent the previous year.
The key Twitter changes for marketers:
- Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
- Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
- Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.