Twitter roadtests new Facebook-inspired profile design

Twitter is currently roadtesting a drastic new profile page design which puts images at the forefront, doing away with its iconic chronological stream. The update, available to only a select number of users at the moment, bears much more likeness to Facebook or Google+ with its new mosaic style display for your content. Twitter broke huge ground when it launched in 2006 with its emphasis on a steady, chronological stream of information, but now it seems to be moving away from these ideals, focusing more on photos and content cards in its new design.


The update features an extended header image which now fits across the entirety of the screen, a larger profile photo and a tiled display of your tweets. You can toggle between “Tweets” and “Tweets and Replies” and the biography section has been moved to the left, underneath the ‘Who to Follow’, and ‘Trending’ sections, mimicking Facebook’s Timeline. Ironically, it wasn’t so long ago that Facebook made the switch from a tiled, two column Timeline to a more straightforward chronological list.

Twitter’s growth has slowed recently, so its no surprise its developers are trying something new. The majority of Twitter’s users use the network primarily on a mobile device as its simple design plus emphasis on short bursts of information works well for when you fancy checking the news or finding out what your friends are up to when you’re out and about. Facebook, on the other hand, places its emphasis on photographs and videos over written content, so it works well on a desktop screen where you can scroll through large images happily. This new approach to content could be Twitter’s way of trying to attract a more diverse range of users with more emphasis on desktop access.

Nothing else has changed yet, so we don’t know how much of the homepage or other areas of the site will change, or if they will at all. Should Twitter choose to roll out this redesign, the new look would likely also benefit the company’s sponsored tweet business, pushing Twitter more firmly into the content marketing arena. So far, opinion of the redesign has been mostly negative with many users lamenting the lack of chronology in the new layout. It’s worth noting, however, that user opinion of Facebook’s Timeline and News Feed features were also met with a barrage of criticism when they were first implemented, but are now seen as fundamental to the site experience.

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