Social Media Marketing

New Twitter Redesign: Details from the Live Event in San Francisco

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Marketo was invited to the Twitter for Marketers Event yesterday at the stunningly gorgeous Asian Art Museum in downtown San Francisco. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo led a presentation that defined the company’s vision and detailed the latest updates that will change the way people around the world connect with the things they care about through Twitter.

In early spring, the entire company came together to rethink and recreate a more unified interface that is simpler and faster. They organized the entire company around this effort and that’s what they came to present.

Dorsey and Costolo began the presentation by discussing their new office space where they will move their 700 employees to next year. Starting with a modest 220,000 square feet, they will have the option to expand up to 400,000. Based in San Francisco’s colorful Tenderloin district, this building will be the global headquarters from which they will scale the company around the world.

More importantly, they spoke about the new changes to Twitter’s interface which is now simplified along with navigation that is more consistent and easier to use. With fewer places to click and fewer places to learn, people can more easily see the value of using Twitter.

So what’s new you ask?

The Four Navigation Elements

1) Home – The timeline of accounts that you follow has been cleaned up dramatically along with a lot of new improvements. The entire universe of the tweet is connected to the tweet itself across all platforms, i.e. Twitter for iPhone, Android, and Tweetdeck (now called Twitter Pro). Tap on a tweet and it will expand to reveal the entire conversation. All of the retweets,  favorites, media, and going forward, other types of applications and transactions will all be connected right there within the context of the tweet.

Also improved is the speed of timeline delivery. The new timeline is delivered up to 500 times faster than before.  In order to make the tweet as portable as possible, when you click to expand the tweet you will now see an “embed this tweet” link. That link will provide code and allow you to embed that tweet into a story, blog post, or website and the entire universe of the tweet will come along with it.

2) Connect – It’s now super simple to enter a user name and to connect with that individual or organization, company or brand immediately. If you see a user name anywhere in the world, you click on the @, whether on your computer or your smartphone, enter that name and instantly you are connected with that user or that brand. You can see their images, their video,  and even reply or retweet them. It’s a simple way to bring an offline encounter to an online interaction.

3) Activity – Click on activity to see how all the people you follow are engaging with content on Twitter. This element will display what they are favoriting, what they are retweeting, and new accounts they are following.

“I can tell you I’ve added more accounts that I follow now just from looking at my activity feed everyday than I did in the entire last two years of looking at my own timeline. I spend probably half my time on Twitter in this activity feed, it’s amazing.” –  Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter

4) Me – This element is all about you as an individual, an organization or a brand. Here you find your direct messages, favorites, lists, images, and videos. This is where you can edit your profile as well.

Earlier that day Twitter also announced enhanced profile pages for brands. These new profile pages feature an extra large header image for displaying your logo, tagline and other visuals. In addition you can add a promoted Tweet as the first thing visitors see, allowing you to better control your messaging. These enhanced profile pages are for now available exclusively to 21 Twitter advertising partners, but should be rolling out to more brands by the end of Q1 according to CEO Dick Costolo.

One last interesting point brought up at the event was a question that Twitter is continually asked. When is Twitter going to lift the restrictions on 140 characters?

Dick Costolo replied, “We don’t view it as a restriction. We view it as providing the simplest, fastest way to communicate.” In fact, they are promoting this core attribute even more by including the compose tweet button in the main navigation everywhere on the site. It’s clear they believe in the power of a simple short message to change the world.

What do you think of the new changes that Twitter has made? Have you upgraded your profile yet? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.