Twitter can be a little impenetrable for new users. The primary purpose of Twitter is curating a collection of tweeters to follow, or even making multiple lists — and the core user loves this functionality. But unlike most other social networks it takes some amount of setup to get something out of Twitter. Now the company is trying to make the service more friendly for the uninitiated.
Will Oremus, Slate’s senior technology writer, notes that 20 percent of U.S. adults have a Twitter account, and those users are generally active on the service.
But they’re the minority… Visit the homepage and you’ll find little more than a background photo, a few lines of text, and a prompt to sign up or log in. Follow a link to an individual tweet or profile page, and you’ll find yourself blocked from further action unless you enter credentials.
The new user experience is so sparse that the company has had to write a guide for getting started, which endeavors to tell users why they should be following people and tweeting. Now that Twitter has done away with its discovery tab, it needed to give new users better tools to get started. The company aims to do this with a redesigned front page.
The new homepage provides an array of categories from “Space news and publications” to “Pop artists.” These categories take unregistered or logged out users to curated feeds that give them examples of the kind of content they could see on Twitter. Users still can’t interact with content, but within these feeds they can search for users and hashtags.
The new experience could provide a lot of value to user that are just grazing on Twitter, during live events or just checking out the service. There have been complaints from regular Twitter users about algorithmic feeds, but an algorithm could be perfect for new users who invested in building their Twitter account.
New users are the lifeblood of any service, in addition to revenue obviously. If Twitter’s new strategies can make users out of unregistered grazers, and greater revenue generators out of its dedicated core user base, it stands to stabilize and grow in the future.