Twitter Tests New Page Design: Does the new look have a hook?

Twitter Tests New Page Design: Does the new look have a hook?

little birdy may have tweeted you the news that Twitter is currently testing a redesign of its profile pages that has a similar look to Facebook and Google+. Not all pages are experiencing the change, only ones selected at random. Those users who are experiencing this new look will notice the profile photo is much larger and has shifted to the left side. There is greater emphasis on the header photo, which is the image behind the profile photo, as it now takes up the entire top portion of the page. The header photo size in the new design is 1500 x 500 pixels, rather than 1252 x 626.

Under the profile picture is the username, Twitter handle, description and website in a larger font size. Below the header photo are counters for tweets, photos/videos, who you are following, followers, favorites and lists. There is also an option for the stream to show “Tweets” or “Tweets and replies”, which is a feature typically reserved for those with the blue check mark, signifying a verified account.

Other profile pages viewed from an account with the new design will automatically have the new look as well. Even if your Twitter page isn’t a part of the test, your profile will appear to have the new look to a person who is part of the test.

Twitter has said they believe the changes will increase its number of users. Its goal is to make the site easier to use by focusing more on visuals such as photos and content cards, and moving away from the vertical timeline. If all goes well in the test phase, these features will make it into the new design that will apply to all users.

Overall, I think a new visually driven design is the right move for Twitter. The larger profile and header photos give users better opportunity to promote themselves. And the fact that the profile description no longer overlays the cover photo also give more opportunity for incorporating more advertising. You take notice of the images before the content now, which is also what happens when you look at a profile page on Facebook and Google+. With the new Twitter design, you aren’t given the option of choosing a background, so the look is cleaner and people visiting your profile aren’t immediately drawn to what’s behind everything you are trying to showcase.

One feature I’m not really a fan of though is the look of the “tweets” stream. It’s scattered and has a messy look to it – quite similar to how pins are laid out on Pinterest. Although it works for Pinterest, I don’t think it works for Twitter. However, I do like the “tweets and replies” stream because it still keeps the original idea where each post is listed underneath one another, yet the look is still fresh and visually appealing because the tweets appear in content cards and the font is larger.

Research shows that by nature, people are visual and attracted to images. According to HubSpot, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement. It’s no wonder Twitter is focusing more on visuals in the new design!

We want to hear from you. Let us know what you think about the Twitter redesign and comment on this post.

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Danielle Thibault
Danielle uses her background in public relations, event coordination and fundraising to gain exposure for inBLOOM’s clients by establishing connections with the media and target audiences. She is most passionate about writing and networking. You’ll never find Danielle without her morning cup of coffee. She is a firm believer that a little caffeine goes a long way!

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