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A View from Erica Naone

Twitter's New Look

The site is finally changing its design–how will it affect other applications and the company’s new advertising platform?

  • September 15, 2010

Twitter is changing its site to make it easier to use and navigate, and to give more context to posts that people see on its website. The changes will add a variety of informative panels to supplement the rapid exchange of information that’s always taking place on the site.

For example, Twitter users often post links to pictures and videos. The new site will pull those onto the page so that people don’t have to leave to view that content. Twitter has accomplished this in part through partnerships with companies that provide these services.

The new site will also provide contextual information for tweets, giving users related posts, for example. It will also make it easier to see profile information about who has posted a tweet without navigating away from the page.

Though the individual changes may seem small, together they suggest a focus on the aesthetics of the site that Twitter historically hasn’t had time for. The site has spent most of its life trying to keep its head above water and prevent crashes from being too frequent.

The changes also seem likely to make people spend more time on the Twitter home page, rather than navigating away from it constantly. This could affect the group of applications that have grown up to supplement Twitter, in some cases undermining their functionality. It’s also possible that the changes will make advertisements on Twitter more valuable. They could be coupled more closely to other content, and there might be more opportunities to present them.

A small group of users already has the new Twitter, and the company expects to add everyone in slowly over the next few weeks.

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