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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work