New version of Twitter coming to a screen near you

If you use twitter on your mobile you may have already noticed the completely new design of the Twitter app.  If  you’ve not already got it, you can download the new mobile version of Twitter for Android or iOS.

The new design will be available on desktops later this year, but until then I thought I’d give you a sneaky peek at the changes and what to expect.

The new homepage will give you greater access to all your tweets, new people to follow, access to photos and videos all at a glance. So it keeps all the stuff you are actually interested in, in one easy to get to place. Pretty similar to the new Facebook profiles. It will be interesting to see how the two compare once the new Twitter homepages go live for everyone.

New Twitter homepage

New Twitter homepage

The new profile is focused on helping you discover the ‘stuff’ that means something to you. So you’ll be fed content that reflects your interests, based around your location, what you follow and what’s happening in the world. Twitter has also made this easy by introducing new icons.

New Twitter icons

New Twitter iconsDell new Twitter profileMcDonalds new Twitter profile

Home: This is your old news feed, only pimped up! Before photos and videos were only viewable on the side, now you can see them right in the tweet. You can also see info about @replies and retweets for a particular tweet.

Connect: This is where all your @replies and mentions will be. Not much changed here, but you can type in someone’s @name to find out more about them and follow instantly.

Discover:
Twitter has stepped up its game for functionality and put the results here. Instead of just looking for #hashtags and trending topics, discover can feed you news stories and trends based on the people you follow and your location. 

Me: Here’s your Twitter profile, made bigger, neater and with more activity recorded.

Tweet: Pretty self explanatory here. Click it and tweet. Simples!

So why the hell is Twitter doing this now?

It’s no secret that Twitter has been working hard to try and create revenue from its platform. The new redesign brings opportunities for companies to create branded pages, similar to the ones on Facebook and Google+. Most brands already have Twitter accounts, but the branded pages allow for more functionality and engagement with followers.

Brands will be able to customise their pages with larger logos and extended tag lines/banners. They will also be able to promote tweets in their own timelines to make it easier to highlight promotions and content. Here’s an example of the new brand pages from McDonalds.

McDonalds new Twitter profile

McDonalds new Twitter profileDell new Twitter profile

 I think the pinned down tweets will be pretty useful for tweets that contain video or images, making homepages a lot more engaging.

Twitter will be launching the new brand pages with 21 partners @AmericanExpress@BestBuy@bing, @chevrolet@CocaCola@Dell@DisneyPixar@generalelectric@Heineken@HP, @intel@JetBlue@Kia@McDonalds@nikebasketball, @NYSE_Euronext@GhostProtocol@pepsi@Staples, @subwayfreshbuzz, and @VerizonWireless. You can read more about the brand pages at Twitter’s advertising blog.

Let me know what you think of the new Twitter profile designs – Do you think they will improve user experience?  Do you think they are becoming too similar to Facebook/Google+?

So just to wrap this up, here’s a short video from Twitter showing you what to expect from the redesign. Enjoy! 

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