Twitter Rolls Out Its New Self

Barry Levine, <a href='http://www.newsfactor.com'>newsfactor.com</a>

Twitter has unveiled a new design that changes how those 140-character bursts of insight and information are used, discovered, and monetized for consumers and businesses. The new approaches are also intended to make the experience relatively uniform across the various devices on which Twitter is used, whether computers or mobile devices.

The service calls the changes "a faster, simpler way to stay close to everything you care about," contained in five main sections -- Home, Connect, Discover, Me, and Tweet. Among other things, the redesign is an attempt by Twitter to give users a reason to use the service through its Web sites or apps, rather than through third-party apps.

'Get in the Conversation'

Home is your personal collection of tweets, of the people you have chosen to follow. In Home, tweets can now be expanded to include information such as replies, retweets, and embedded photos and videos. All users will now have the ability to expand a tweet to see this kind of information.

The Connect section, the company said, is "where you get in the conversation." In this section, you can see who has followed or mentioned you, retweeted you, or favorited your tweets. Interactions show all the actions other people have taken resulting from your tweets.

In Discover, a user sees results reflecting his or her interests, based on current location, what the user follows, and what's going on in the real world. The more Twitter is used, the company said, the better the Discover section learns about what content might be of interest.

Discover includes subsections of Made for You, Find More, Who to Follow, Find Friends, and Browse Interests. When a user finds a #hashtag of interest, it can be searched in this section for related stories, conversation and content.

'Invitation to Learn More'

All About You contains your lists, favorites, followers, photos, and other info, and the Me tab allows a user to stay on top of direct message conversations. And, by clicking on the new Tweet button, a user can immediately send out a message, wherever one is on Twitter.

Along with changes for users of the service is a new approach for companies interested in marketing their wares via Twitter. The company is launching revitalized brand pages, with new features.

Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain told news media that brand pages are "an invitation to learn more" than what is offered in a tweet's 140 characters.

Included in the new brand pages are company-customized header images, with a logo and tag line featured more prominently than previously, and the ability to display replies separately from mentions. A brand page can also have a featured tweet, with an auto-expansion that shows an embedded photo or video.

The company said that the new Twitter will be rolling out over the next few weeks, starting with updated versions for Android devices and the iPhone. This is the newest new design. A little over a year ago, Twitter similarly announced a major redesign of its Web site, which was designed to make the service easier and faster.