Twitter launches revamped website
San Francisco, December 9, 2011
Twitter revamped its website on Thursday to make the microblogging service easier to use and to help companies better showcase their brands.
The new version of Twitter, which the company is gradually making available starting on Thursday, will feature a new look and feel and faster performance, the company said.
The redesigned website comes as Twitter is taking steps to introduce more advertising on the site and as Twitter faces increased competition from Web giants Facebook and Google.
"We have to provide the simplest and fastest way for people around the world to connect to everything they care about," Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo said as he introduced the new version of the site at an event at the company's future headquarters in San Francisco.
Costolo appeared alongside Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who returned to the company in March as executive chairman to oversee the company's product design and development efforts.
Twitter allows people to send 140-character messages, or "tweets," throughout the network of over 100 million users. It is one of the Web's most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and Zynga.
In October, Apple integrated Twitter's service directly into the software that powers the popular iPhones.
Since then, Dorsey said, the number of monthly sign-ups for Twitter have increased 25 percent.
Even as Twitter continues to grow, it faces fresh competition from Google, which introduced a social networking service with capabilities similar to Twitter earlier this year.
On Thursday, Facebook, the world's No.1 social networking service, announced a new feature that allows its users to visit a website and "subscribe" to updates from celebrities, journalists and other public figures.
The new version of Twitter seeks to simplify the service and to make it easier for new users to understand various Twitter-specific features, such as the # symbol that is used to search for topics on the service.
"Twitter should be useful by those who know the shortcuts, and also equally useful by those who don't really use the shortcuts," said Dorsey.
A new "Discover" section of the website highlights the most popular topics on the site based on each user's location and interests.
The new version of Twitter also features a revamped profile page, in which a company can customize the look of their brand and highlight specific content, such as videos or photos.
Previously, the profile pages displayed a chronological list of the company's most recent Tweets.
Twitter said that 21 brands, including General Electric and Pepsi, have already revamped their profile pages to take advantage of the new capabilities. Twitter will gradually make the new profile page features available to all its users. - Reuters