Twitter on Tuesday launched a redesigned home page, giving the messaging service an interactive makeover that highlights the up-to-the second tweets about the most buzz-worthy topics on the Internet.
“Twitter’s homepage is a work-in-progress,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Today, we’re testing a new design that bubbles up more of the information flowing through Twitter.”
The changes will jump out to visitors who were familiar with the old site. The trending topics section, which had previously sat as a static column on the right side of the page, now scrolls like a news ticker across the top of the screen.
Hover a mouse over any of the topics and the ticker freezes, with an expansion balloon offering a click-through to tweets about that topic. Some topics include a balloon offering a brief note explaining why the topic is trending, such as “Moscow,” which reads: “Two suicide bombers killed at least 38 people in the subway this morning (March 29).”
In the center of the new home page sits a list of “top tweets,” which are selected by an algorithm programmed to serve up a representative sampling of what people are tweeting about by showcasing individual postings updated every few seconds.
Then on the left side, Twitter has selected a smattering of its users deemed “suggested sources.” Mousing over the profile pictures displays their most recent tweet. As of this writing Twitter’s suggested sources are an eclectic bunch, ranging from BBC Business News to Ivanka Trump.
In broad terms, Twitter’s makeover is aimed to better convey the role the service sees itself playing in the online information exchange. Acutely aware of the oft-voiced criticismsthat Twitter is too chaotic, stuffed with irrelevant information and vacuous celebrity chatter, a time-waster or worse, the company described the home page overhaul as something of a rebranding effort.
“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,” Twitter said.
“With so much being shared, we know that there’s something of value for everyone. People who internalize 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.”
Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.