Skip to main content

What a Twitter redesign tells us about their future

by Simon Jenkins | 16.04.2015
Twitter is beginning to roll out new a new homepage design in the US. The (currently) desktop-only transformation can actually give a real insight into the evolving direction of the tool.

It seems Twitter is going through somewhat of a reinvention of identity at the moment. They recently dramatically changed the way in which they display quoted Tweets across desktop and mobile, allowing for 140 character comments on other people’s content – a change that users have been requesting for some time now! Now the homepage design (probably their most dramatic change in recent years) is set to be latest thread in a changing wardrobe.

The new homepage is split into three main areas. The left-hand menu shows ten subjects or topic areas:

  • News
  • Sports
  • Entertainment
  • Technology & Science
  • Lifestyle
  • Music
  • Humor & Novelty
  • Arts & Culture
  • Fashion & Style
  • Government & Nonprofits

This is clearly an attempt from Twitter to bring you closer to the content that you want to see; it’s a step towards the removal of irrelevancy. Facebook has also attempted to cleanse the inappropriate / unworthy content, however, their changes were more algorithmic than aesthetic. It’s unclear at this stage exactly how Twitter plans to departmentalise the content into each of the above areas, but they have said, “as with everything we build, we’ll be making lots of improvements along the way so that Twitter’s front page continues to be informative, entertaining and relevant to everyone.”

The centre, more visual section offers users more entertaining content such as ‘cute animals’ and ‘popstars’. I imagine this is based on the most popular types of content shared on Twitter and could indeed change from day-to-day, based on what is trending. This visualised topic area is much richer experience for the user to see what’s trending on Twitter as opposed to the current list view. As Twitter has said, this is to offer “rich, real-time content”. Perhaps we’ll begin to hear SEO-style conversations from brands trying to ‘get on the first page of Twitter’?

The right-hand panel is the login / sign-up area. It’s easy to overlook the importance of this area, but Twitter is trying to alleviate the decline in new members.

There’s currently no announcement regarding the launch of this page in the UK and beyond, but one thing is for sure, Twitter will never be happy standing still. They constantly look to find new ways to engage the user and give them a more immersive experience when consuming content.