Facing slower growth in
users and ad sales, Twitter is testing a new, very Facebook-like user interface.
A significant departure from its simple, centered news feed, the new layout arranges tweets in
different-sized boxes and fonts -- depending on their perceived import to users -- while profile pictures have been moved to the left, and a large background photo spans the top portion of the
Since its hatching in 2006, Twitter’s design and purpose have been criticized for being less than intuitive to the average user. And, while efforts have been made to
simplify its service, this latest redesign -- first reported by Mashable
on Tuesday -- represents Twitter’s most blatant appeal to popular tastes yet.
According to analysts, a big change is exactly what Twitter needs.
"Especially in the wake of declining timeline views per monthly active user, Twitter is looking to innovate its
core offerings to make them more appealing and sticky to the average user,” said Zachary Reiss-Davis, social media analyst at Forrester Research.
“Twitter has changed its
overall look and feel very little since it was first created, in contrast to Facebook, which has been dramatically changing the site experience relatively continuously in an effort to improve user
engagement,” Reiss-Davis added.
At least partly as a result, Twitter’s roughly 241 million users remain utterly overshadowed by Facebook’s community of some 1.2
Worse yet, Twitter copped to declining user and ad sales growth, earlier this month. Year-over-year, it said fourth quarter ad sales were up 116% to $243 million.
Over the next quarter, however, the company said it expected sales growth to decline to somewhere between $230 and $240.
As for user growth, Twitter said the approximately 241
million people who used the site on a monthly basis, last quarter, represented a 30% jump year-over-year, but only about a 4% increase quarter-over-quarter.