B2B Articles - Apr 8, 2014 6:22:45 PM

New Twitter Design

A review of the new Twitter design. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 4.04.10 PM Percentage of Users Who Approve (Blue) and Who Don't Approve of the New Twitter Design

In the final quarter of 2013, Twitter discovered that despite an expanding user base people were spending less time on the site. This likely meant that even though users were willing to test drive Twitter, they were detracted by some facet of the platform. Experts have long deemed that user-unfriendliness was the chief culprit behind the declining popularity of Twitter. Twitter's waterfall architecture does not operate like conventional social media platforms and there is a somewhat of a learning curve involved in gaining the requisite momentum which allows users to plug into Twitter's stream of social consciousness.

In what appears to be an effort to make Twitter more user-friendly, the company began rolling out revamped profile designs on Tuesday. Twitter's prior interface comprised of a two-paneled list, with Tweets on the right hand side and pertinent details on the other. The new format places details on both sides of the steam, incorporates an expansive panoramic profile picture and more generally parallels Facebook's format. Some key functional features of the new design:

1) Embolden Tweets which exhibit higher levels of engagement, as measured by retweets, replies and likes

2) Give users the option to pin one of their Tweets to the top of a page

3) Allow Tweeters to filter timelines for Tweets, photos, videos or Tweets / replies

Image: New Twitter Design Example - John Legend

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.08.55 AM New Twitter Format Example

The new format may have significant benefits, such as a possible reduction in Twitter's learning curve, which may in turn fuel engagement for new or unassimilated users. The content alterations also allow for Tweeters to be better characterized by their strengths via bringing their best Tweets into greater prominence. Users don't seem to be open to the changes however, with our own surveys (105 people polled) revealing that approximately 58% of people do not like the new format while 42% do.

The redesign is also accompanied with a major risk. By adopting a facebook-esque interface, Twitter places itself in more direct competition with the social media giant its new design appears to be a derivative of. It may consequently become easier for current Twitter users to rationalize an attention transfer from Twitter to Facebook given the newfound similarities between the social media platforms. Twitter's new look is still in its nascent stages however, and it remains to be determined how people will perceive and interact with the platform over time.

This article will be updated for changes in survey results, which are still live.

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