Twitter has unveiled a new website — which it is branding, in hashtag form, of course, #newtwitter — that will roll out for users over the next few weeks. The redesigned site simplifies the homepage and, most significantly, will show photos and play videos on the site, rather than forcing users to open new tabs in their browsers. The Twitter homepage is by far the most popular way for accessing the service, as 78 percent of unique users log on through Twitter.com.
“It’s going to increase the value that people are getting out of Twitter, so in less time you can get more information and value,” Evan Williams, Twitter’s co-founder and chief executive, told the Times.
The new design is expected to be appealing to advertisers as the interface will allow for “more real estate and more engagement,” Williams said. However, start-ups that have built popular Twitter applications — like TweetDeck and Seemic — are not likely to be thrilled that Twitter is now building up its own tools and services, as the revamped site could make some of them less relevant.
The new site will include two panes, instead of the single timeline users are accustomed to. The right pane will be used for displaying additional information to the timeline (e.g. user bios, photos, and videos, conversations sparked by a tweet), so there will no longer be a need to click back and forth between pages. An important question not yet answered, though: Has the Fail Whale received a corresponding makeover??