Twitter's new home page: Information, not status updates

Co-founder Biz Stone hopes that the redesigned Twitter home page will "encourage a sense of wonder and discovery" to draw in potential new users.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read

Dear Person Who Constantly Tweets About What He Or She Is Eating For Breakfast,

Twitter is not all about you anymore. Now go drown your sorrows in a bottle of delicious maple syrup that you're about to pour on that giant stack of blueberry pancakes.

Indeed, the microblogging service unveiled Tuesday its revamped home page, which doesn't change anything for people who are already using Twitter--it's just a different look and feel for twitter.com if you haven't logged in.

"Helping people access Twitter in more relevant and useful ways upon first introduction lowers the barrier to accessing the value Twitter has to offer and presents the service more consistently with how it has evolved," co-founder Biz Stone wrote on the company blog. "Twitter began as a rudimentary social tool based on the concept of status messages but together with those who use it every day, the service has taught us what it wants to be."


So what's new? Well, the interface is cleaned up and is a little more aesthetically pleasing, with Twitter's bird mascot now fluttering around a Twitter logo vaguely set up to be a sunburst emerging from some fluffy clouds. (They sure do think highly of themselves over there!) There's a big Twitter Search button to "see what people are saying about" a given topic, putting the service's utility front and center. Then there is a roster of trending topics by the hour, day, and week.

Twitter's mantra has changed from "What are you doing?" to "Share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world." Chances are, new visitors to Twitter.com are checking it out because they've heard about it in the news--or even integrated into news coverage, as the likes of CNN and MSNBC have started doing. The new language reflects that.

And when you click the "Sign up now" button? You're invited to "join the conversation." Yeah, that's right. Now think about whether "the conversation" really wants to hear about that pint of Ben & Jerry's you're about to dig into.

"We're eager to see if encouraging a sense of wonder and discovery leads to a better first impression of Twitter," Stone concluded in his blog post. So let me get this straight: Twitter has evolved into a 140-character magical mystery tour with a pretty cartoon bird to lead the way. Insert your favorite Harold and Kumar joke here!