New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

Twitter profiles will receive a significant design overhaul in the coming weeks. Profile pages will include a large horizontal cover photo and a prominent profile picture, which are unmistakably similar to the look of Facebook profiles. The most popular tweets will also appear larger in the timeline and users can now pin a favorite tweet to the top of their page. Visitors to profiles will be able to filter timelines to include only tweets with photos, videos or replies.

The Twitter redesign may be part of a strategic move to become more mainstream. “People are intimidated by the open nature of Twitter. The redesign kind of looks like other networks, and that’s what people are already used to and comfortable with,” Gartner analyst Brian Blau said. “This direction might reduce that level of intimidation.”

Though Twitter reported that its user base is growing, user engagement is declining.

Wired suggests that might be due to Twitter’s unconventional look and operation in comparison to other social networks. For example, Twitter’s design makes it difficult for users to catch up on older tweets without endless scrolling through an overwhelming feed. The new enlarged tweets when a user’s content was particularly engaging will at least give users some idea of what they may have missed.

The new features seem to encourage users to visit profile pages more often. Many users already bypass profile pages with third-party social media management apps, such as HootSuite. However, with larger photos and the ability to filter tweets, it will be easier for followers to find what they really want from Twitter profile pages.

Related Coverage:
Twitter Redesign Looks a Lot Like Facebook, The Verge, 4/8/14
Coming Soon: A Whole New You, In Your Twitter Profile, Twitter Blog, 4/8/14