Twitter’s Redesign Will Seem Eerily Familiar to Facebook Users

Source: Twitter

On Tuesday, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) introduced a new redesign that’s likely to have Twitter devotees cringing. The design, which is meant to be more “photo-centric,” might give Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users déjà vu. It even features a cover photo (which Twitter is calling a “custom header”) and a profile picture in the same general location as you would find on a Facebook profile page.

Theres’s not use fretting about it, Twitter fans: The changes have already begun rolling out and the changes should be universal within the next few weeks, according to Twitter’s blog.

Another feature of the redesign is the option to show off your best tweets by “pinning” favorites to the top of your profile page, which will upset the otherwise reverse-chronological order in which tweets are normally displayed; similarly, in the style of a tag cloud, your most favorited and retweeted tweets will be displayed more prominently on your page than other tweets, and will also be easier to find.

The redesign is part of an effort by Twitter’s team to make the service more approachable and intuitive to newcomers, who are often initially confused by Twitter’s unusual system of hashtags and @-replies.

Ironically, it’s those features that make the social media site so beloved by its most devoted users. As reported earlier last month, Twitter is looking at doing away with its signature hashtags and @-replies in an effort to attract a wider audience of users who will rely on Twitter as part of their daily routine of engagement with social media.

Not everyone hates the redesign, though. Wired claims that the design is actually a pretty smart business move. Twitter continues to struggle with user engagement, Wired says, and needs to attract a more mainstream audience — Facebook’s audience. Redesigns like this one, which render Twitter more rather than less familiar, are a good way to attract people.

And even if the redesign means that some of Twitter’s earliest users jump ship, it’s for the best, Wired reports. “It’s the future users who will drive the business forward. They’re the target for advertisers,” Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner, said regarding Twitter’s recent changes to the publication. “They’re different from the digerati and the people who flock to these networks early on. It’s the mass market that has the buying power. That’s what Twitter’s really after.”

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