Twitter has just rolled out the new version of its homepage that new potential users and users who are not logged in will see. The design has been completely overhauled from the previous version which was fairly cluttered (see it at the bottom of the page). This new version is sleek and features trending topics by the minute, hour and day.
Most importantly, the new version features search functionality front and center. This way people who aren’t even Twitter users yet can search for things being said on the service. And results are nicely placed on the same page below the main area.
You’ll also notice that when you click on any of the popular topics, a description of why that topic is being featured appears along the top of the search results. This is something that is very helpful, as quite a few trending topics seem to make no sense on the surface. It looks like Twitter is using the third-party service What The Trend? to populate these descriptions.
It’s important to note that nothing has changed about Twitter’s UI and functionality for those who are logged in. This is simply part of Twitter’s goal to make the service more accessible and obvious to new users, as well as increase engagement, and the use of search/trends. The bigger goal is to make it easier for businesses to use Twitter, which will allow the service to finally make some money. It’s new Twitter 101 area is another of the initial steps in that direction.
Find screenshots below of both the new main page and the old version. As well as what the new main page search results look like.
Update: And here’s Twitter’s post on the new homepage. Here’s the key blurb:
The open and timely exchange of information will have a positive impact on the world and Twitter has a role to play. We have a lot of work to do when it comes to the quality of our search results and trend analysis but repositioning the product to focus more on discovery is an important first step in presenting Twitter to a wider audience of folks around the world who are eager to start engaging with new people, ideas, opinions, events, and sources of information.
We’ll likely continue to make changes to the Twitter home page as we respond to feedback and ideas. We’re eager to see if encouraging a sense of wonder and discovery leads to a better first impression of Twitter.
Update 2: It also looks like Twitter is using this new homepage search interface to highlight some of the lesser-used search operators, like the “:)” symbol for results with “positive attitude.”
Update 3: As Adobe’s Ryan Stewart notes on Twitter, this homepage change seems like it could be a fairly big shot across the bow of Google. After all, if everyone now visiting twitter.com sees search front and center, it’s pretty clear that the product is being positioned as a major player in the search game. It will be interesting to see Twitter’s next step, which undoubtedly will include another homepage redesign to match this new Twitter home screen. Will we also see the search box more prominently featured there?