Twitter announced two updates today that should make it easier to use for logged-out users — a group of people the company has generally not taken as seriously as it should.
First of all, Twitter is now rolling out its updated homepage, which makes it easier for logged-out users to drill into interesting messages, pictures and videos on the platform without having to sign up for it, to more countries. Until now, this homepage was only available in the U.S. and Japan. It’s also bringing a better logged-out out experience to mobile users in 23 countries, the company said.
Compared to Twitter’s earlier homepages, which generally left potential new users scratching their heads because it barely explained why they should use the service, this new page makes Twitter seems like a far more inviting place for newbies.
That’s a challenge Twitter has long needed to address. The company has struggled to grow its user base – a metric Wall Street needs to see rise. But on the flip side, the company knows that its service is used and seen by far more people than those who have actually created accounts, or those who remain signed-in to their accounts.
In fact, Twitter has said in the past that it has as many as 500 million users who stop by to read tweets without signing in or registering. It has experimented with reaching — and monetizing — this audience in different ways.
Not only did it create a homepage that lets these users better browse the site, it tested showing Promoted Tweets to those without an account, too. And the company has discussed other ways to tweak how Twitter profile pages were displayed to logged out users.
Twitter first introduced its revamped homepage last year, allowing users to browse topics like sports, news, entertainment, technology and more. The homepage has evolved a bit since then, with more emphasis on Twitter’s curated Moments and other “Featured” content, reflecting an increased editorial focus.
Perhaps even more important than the global rollout of the web homepage, is Twitter’s announcement that it’s also launching a similar update on mobile today.
“Before today, you could see individual Tweets but it was hard to discover stories and conversations happening on Twitter without signing in,” the Twitter team writes in today’s announcement. “Now, you can check out a news story as it unfolds, dive into the play-by-play discussions around a game, and then come back again to see that exchange between two rappers everyone’s been talking about.”
The intent behind both updates is pretty much the same: make Twitter more attractive for those who aren’t the media junkies that make up its core user group.
The new home timeline will become available across 23 countries, when users visit Twitter.com from their mobile device.
This new mobile homepage is now rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, the UK and the U.S.
The same countries (minus U.S. and Japan, where it’s already live) will now get the web homepage as well.