Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter's Newest Homepage Goes Tweetless

Twitter is rolling out a new homepage design, which is pretty much standard operating procedure for the service. See, for instance, last year’s homepage redesign. Or the one that came a year before that.

All of the overhauls are aimed at explaining the service to new users. And in the past, Twitter has tried to do that by showing off examples of what it actually does.

No more. Instead of displaying sample Tweets, or trending topics, the new page simply invites users to “Follow your interests: Instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world,” followed by a search box.

This is a simple switch, but the symbolism seems important for the service, which is still trying to make itself relevant to the mainstream: There’s no point in showing new users Tweets about people and topics they don’t care about.

This is presumably part of what new/old product head Jack Dorsey was talking about last week, when he discussed Twitter’s need to create “better lines around the products, so it’s more approachable, so that people can get into it immediately, and it’s extremely relevant right away.”

Here’s the new home page that some users are seeing (via Mashable):

And the old one:

And, for old time’s sake, the one before that:

And the one before that:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik