Twitter unveiled Thursday a product overhaul for its website and apps that the company says is simpler and faster, with navigation built around its service’s key functions.
The new layout puts additional content and context inline within tweets, rather than off to the side. It’s also supposed to be 500 percent faster than Twitter was three or four months ago. And it looks different and sleeker; for instance, the navigation bar is now on the left instead of the right.
Twitter contains four key functions, said the company’s co-leaders Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo, addressing a gaggle of media from Twitter’s new industrial chic, uninsulated and barely renovated new headquarters in San Francisco.
The four are tabs across the top bar in the new design: “home” — the timeline of tweets; “connect,” signified by the “@” sign, as in a user name; “discover” — which shows emerging and relevant topics and activities, signified by a hashtag; and “me” — also known as the profile pages, which now include special enhanced profile pages.
Dorsey said the design is meant to make Twitter more approachable and accessible. Early active users created the @ and # conventions, which have become key to the way Twitter works, but many users have no idea what they mean.
“Twitter should be usable for people who know the shortcuts and also equally usable for those who don’t,” Dorsey said.
Users can “unlock” the new experience by downloading the newest versions of Twitter’s mobile apps, or they can get it through Twitter’s website over the next couple months, Costolo said.