Twitter gets a makeover

Caroline Cassidy

In the four years since it was launched, the social networking site Twitter has remained pretty much unchanged. But with some 160 million users, and 370,000 new users signing up every day, the company decided to reinvent their website to make it more engaging and to improve multimedia integration.

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The new and improved design for Twitter, which was unveiled at a launch at their headquarters in San Francisco, features two panels on its homepage. The first, on the left, shows the stream of tweets and the second, on the right, brings up related videos, images, tweets and links to the tweet that you highlight on the left hand side.

This new richer multimedia experience is intended to draw users to Twitter's homepage who would not normally visit it.

Evan Williams, Twitter's chief executive and co-founder, said: "You can now take a simple short tweet and get more context and information in less time.

"We liked the old Twitter but we thought we could make it better. There was a lot buried underneath Twitter and now we are bringing all of that to the surface."

Twitter has made deals with 16 photo and video sites including YouTube, Flickr and TwitPic to allow visual content to be embedded on the Twitter homepage.

Another new feature of the redesign is an infinite scroll on the tweet timeline panel, which means that users no longer need to click a 'more' button to see older tweets. Twitter hope their new site will be faster, with constantly streaming tweets.

The big idea behind the redesign is to encourage users to spend more time on the site and therefore to see more adverts. A recent introduction to Twitter was the promoted tweets that allowed advertisers to sponsor tweets which show up at the top of the page when users search a particular keyword.

Mr Williams said: "What advertisers on Twitter are looking for is engagement.

"This will improve that out of the box."

The new design is expected to be rolled out over the next few weeks, but for those keen to see what it will look like, check out the video below.