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Twitter to target the masses with iOS overhaul, says report

The social network reportedly will attempt to solve a retention problem with a new app that spotlights multimedia and TV-related tweets in separate feeds.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, pictured speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, has said in the past that Twitter is too complicated for newcomers. Dan Farber/CNET

Twitter will redo its iPhone and iPad application with an emphasis on multimedia and TV-related tweets, and a focus on making its mobile application more approachable to the masses, according to a report from AllThingsD.

The media property, citing sources familiar with the new app, reported that the information network will soon release a new design that swaps the iOS app's current tab structure for a variety of media-rich feeds that users can swipe through. When reached for comment, a Twitter spokesperson said the company doesn't have anything to share on a new iOS app right now.

The overhauled app is said to include the standard stream of tweets in reverse chronological order, a feed that highlights interactions and conversations, a photos-only feed, and a stream dedicated to TV-related tweets. With the new design, photos, videos, article snippets, and other rich media content shared from third-party partner sites will reportedly appear inline with tweets, meaning people won't have to click on tweets to view embedded content.

The rumored changes, if true, seem motivated by a desire to make Twitter appeal to a wider swath of social media denizens, hook first-time users, and further solidify the company's role as the de facto social network for real-time conversations around television shows.

Twitter, according to AllThingsD, counts more than 1 billion registered users, but only 240 million of those accounts are active on a monthly basis, meaning the soon-to-go-public company has a retention problem that it needs to address before Wall Street types start scrutinizing its business. In the past, CEO Dick Costolo has admitted that Twitter can be too complicated for newcomers. In late August, the company released a conversation feature in which mentions are linked together with a blue line to help combat confusion.