Twitter re-tweaks its homepage – not just about status updates

31 Mar 2010

Twitter has begun testing a new design it says will bubble up more of the information flowing through the microblogging service. Trending topics will now flow across the page and hovering over trends will explain why a keyword is popular.

The redesign builds on a series of changes that Twitter started last year when it redesigned its homepage to make search and trending topics more visible.

“With the new design, we’re intentionally featuring more dynamic content on the front page, revealing a sample of who’s here, what folks are tweeting about, and the big topics that they’re discussing,” Twitter said in its blog last night.

The homepage now features a set of algorithmically-selected top tweets that automatically appear every few seconds. It also highlights a random sampling of suggested sources; hover over any of them to see a profile summary and their latest tweet.

Trending topics now scroll across the page, allowing us to present a large set of trends using little page real estate. Hovering over some of these trends will show a description explaining why the keyword is (or has recently been) popular.

“All of our recent changes embrace the notion that Twitter is not just for status updates anymore. It’s a network where information is exchanged and consumed at a rapid clip every second of the day.

“With so much being shared, we know that there’s something of value for everyone. People who internalise the value of Twitter understand the power of this simple medium. But it hasn’t been easy to make that value transparent or obvious for curious folks coming to Twitter for the first time.

“We’ll be monitoring the data on this homepage design, and how its effects ripple out to other areas. Expect us to continually try new ideas that help users more easily discover who and what they can find on Twitter, and how they can personalise and filter the stream of rapidly flowing information,” Twitter said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years