Facebook-like Twitter redesign spotted in the wild

12 Feb 2014

Image via dolphfyn/Shutterstock

Staffers from no less than four online publications have noticed a drastic overhaul of their Twitter profiles, which reminds them of a rival social network. Could it be that Twitter is readying changes to attract Facebook fans?

The suspected Twitter redesign was first spotted by Mashable’s assistant features editor Matt Petonzio on Tuesday. The same design was since discovered on the Twitter profiles of TIME.com editor Nick Carbone, The Wire’s Eric Levenson and Jillian D’Onfro of Business Insider.

The makeover sees the user’s main profile image enlarged and shoved off to the left above a sidebar including their bio, follow recommendations and trending topics. The cover image has also been enlarged to stretch banner-style across the screen.

Yes, that does indeed sound like the description of a Facebook profile page and, at first glance, Twitter’s supposed new look resembles its rival very closely, while the cluster of tweets filling the right-hand timeline look like the progeny of Google+ cards and Pinterest pins.

The result is a social network profile mash-up that misses the mark and leaves Twitter with no distinct qualities.

Twitter's Facebook-like layout (via Mashable)

Image via Mashable

In the company’s Q4 earnings call, monthly active users were reported to have reached 241m, a year-on-year increase of 30pc. However, this growth is not enough to satisfy investors and Twitter reportedly informed analysts that its interface is not easy for new users to get used to.

Twitter has already introduced a subtler redesign for its desktop version, but this Facebook-like appearance could be the next step for attracting new users. However, it might just force old users out, as reaction to the proposed look has been negative.

Twitter redesign reactions

Reactions to the redesign today on Twitter

As it informed the world via a blog post last year, Twitter is constantly testing new features with small groups of users. Not all of these ideas are rolled out in full and Petonzio’s discovery could be one that doesn’t make the cut.

Twitter profile - Silicon Republic

Twitter’s current profile design

Main Facebook and Twitter image by dolphfyn via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.