The experience of Twitter has changed little since it first launched in the summer of 2007. Tweets are still capped at 140 characters and many of Twitter's core features — hashtags, @replies, direct messages, favorites and retweets — have been around since the early days.
The design has gotten prettier and more intuitive over the years. Rich media in the form of images and video are now embedded within the tweets that appear in users' timelines. Twitter's mobile and online applications have also been updated over the years to amplify and notify users of the more relevant conversations taking place on the platform.
But until earlier this year, the profile page that acts as a stand-in homepage for all 255 million monthly active users saw little development. In what is arguably the company's biggest and most important redesign to date, Twitter has done a complete overhaul of user profile pages and made the new features available to all users last week.
Dan Greene, senior director of U.S. online sales and operations at Twitter, highlights three features of the new profile — a media-forward layout, pinned tweets and the enlarged display of each user's most engaging content — that will help brands better connect with their customers.
Twitter's New Look
While the features are no different than what's available on other social platforms, the redesign does give Twitter a more modern look while possibly reflecting even more about the company's vision going forward. Nonetheless, this refresh was long overdue.
Now that Twitter's new profiles are here, brands and users should familiarize themselves with the latest changes and determine how to make the most of their new home on Twitter. It's always cool to be an early adopter or special beta tester, but it can be downright embarrassing if you arrive too late for the party.
The most obvious and drastic changes are on display in the layout of users' tweets, photos, videos, favorites and other lists. In a homage to Pinterest, perhaps an unintentional one, Twitter organizes tweets, activity and visual content into a grid. You can also pin any tweet of your choosing to the top of your page, the first of what could be many more moves away from Twitter's reverse-chronological infrastructure.
With that fresh design in mind, these are the top changes and tips you should be aware of the next time you use Twitter online.
"Make sure your new profile page accurately reflects your brand's unique personality and voice," Greene writes in response to questions. "Each aspect of your profile, including the pinned tweet, header photo, and bio, is an opportunity to humanize your brand and connect with your customers on a deeper level in real time."
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