Head on over to the Twitter.com homepage and you’ll be presented with a brand-new homepage (you need to be logged out of the network to see it). The update started a couple of weeks ago but has now rolled out to all users on the platform.
The changes are mostly cosmetic but what’s important is the adjustment of Twitter’s message that now greets users: Follow your interests.
Here’s how the homepage used to look:
And here’s the new design:
Note the change from “discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world” to “follow your interests” (which is displayed in a very large font). Very Quora, Twitter, and not a million miles away from what I suggested Twitter might do back in January.
The new page is a lot simpler and cleaner than the previous build, and mostly static. No top tweets – thankfully, as they’re mostly hideous happy-clappy motivational garbage and other worthless junk – and the scrolling trends have also been removed.
The only activity is a horizontal row of user avatars at the bottom of the screen, which is generated randomly and changes on a per-avatar basis every few seconds. Note: it’s a very select group of profiles – everyone on there appears to famous and well-followed. That’s right – it’s yet another suggested user list.
There’s now only two lines of text – “Instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world” – and the search box below encourages new visitors to quickly tap into the hive mind.
It’s all very minimalist. Even a little bit Zen. Twitter obviously decided that earlier builds had far too much clutter, and that a batch of spring cleaning was long overdue.
This is, of course, very much aimed at newcomers to the platform. Most of us either stay logged in to Twitter.com or log in from other pages (for example, user profiles) so rarely actually see the homepage. But for new people to Twitter.com this is the first thing they see, so it’s vital that Twitter gets it right.
I’m not sure they’re accomplished that completely with this design, but it’s certainly less busy than before and subsequently less confusing. Which is a huge plus, as overwhelming newbies may be a large reason why Twitter.com’s traffic has remained pretty flat for so long, certainly in the USA.
What do you think of the new layout? Did you prefer things as they were before? Hit the comments and let us know.