Twitter wants your Mom to sign-up. That helps explain why they debuted their new redesign on the "Today Show" and why it looks strikingly similar to a Facebook profile page. The more consumer friendly design is clearly targeted to first time users of the site, using larger photos and text to attract the mom-crowd Twitter needs to compete with Facebook.
Twitter shares fell by over 12% in February after fourth-quarter financial results showed monthly active user growth rate had slowed, growing by just 9 million from the previous quarter to 241 million monthly active users as of Dec. 31, 2013, according to Twitter. Facebook, by comparison, now reports more than a billion users as of March 2014 and 757 million daily active users.
Helping to simplify Twitter's dense stream of text and making its controls more intuitive could both help entice new users and retain veteran users.
This new design has a wider header, sets the larger profile picture to the left, and gives more options to filter a user's feed. Tweets with more reactions appear larger in the feed and users can now choose to pin a tweet to the top of their feed (just like Facebook).
These changes are automatic for any new users, but for existing users, at least for now, the changes will only impact those who use Twitter’s desktop site. Many long time users of Twitter only use the service on their phones or through a 3rd party app like Hootsweet or Tweetdeck and will rarely see these new pages. The changes are also only to individual user feeds ("profile pages"), but not to the main home screen ("the wall").
In October of last year, Twitter introduced another Facebook-like feature, automatically showing photos and video in the news feed without having to expand to view the content. Facebook has in turn introduced more news into it's feed and allows users to "follow" each other, just like Twitter. As the sites imitate each other, we may see increasing homogenization of icons, features and navigation across the social web.
Of the top ten most followed users on twitter, seven are musicians (below). But neither of the top two, Katy Perry or Justin Bieber, have the new page just yet. However, Weezer (pictured above) has a nice new header and a pinned tweet to top their feed. (Hopefully for Twitter, your Mom likes Weezer.)
TWITTERS TOP TEN FOLLOWED: