Twitter Launches New Homepage That Emphasizes Following Others, Deemphasizes Sharing


Twitter’s new homepage is all about following others, but doesn’t even mention the fact that you can post status updates yourself.

It’s always been hard to explain to new users what Twitter is all about and the company itself never did a very good job at this either. Now Twitter is making a new attempt at explaining itself. The company just launched a new homepage that explains the service to new users as a place to find “instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world.” The previous iteration of the homepage told users that Twitter was a place to “discover what’s new in your world” and promised “easy, free, and instant updates.” Given Twitter’s drive to make the service more mainstream, it makes sense that the new homepage doesn’t make any mention of Twitter as a place where you can post updates yourself.

The new homepage features a map in the background, sign-up and sign-in forms, as well as a search box. It’s clear that Twitter wants to appeal to mainstream users here and while some early adopters will greet this new emphasis on celebrities and industry experts with the appropriate amount of snark, it is likely the right way to go for Twitter. Most people don’t want to share their own thoughts publicly after all, but are more than happy to hear the latest news from Justin Bieber, Oprah and Kanye West.


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Twitter's Updated iPhone App Annoys Users With Unnecessary Focus on Trending Topics


Twitter today launched an update to its iOS apps that brings lots of welcome new features (automatic shortening of links, autocomplete for usernames and easier photo uploads) but also puts far too much emphasis on trending topics in the iPhone app. Every time you scroll to the top of your stream on the iPhone, Twitter will now show you a trending topic at the top.

For Twitter, of course, this makes sense. After all, it sells promoted trends for good money (Google Hotpot bought a spot today, for example). For the most part, trending topics on Twitter tend to be dominated by celebrity gossip and Justin Bieber. It’s hard to see how this makes the app better, unless you really care about Charlie Sheen (trend: #tigerblood – no idea why…), the fact that it’s #Friday and that people care about #BYU, #iTunes and #Facebook.

Doing a search for “quick bar” on Twitter, it’s clear that most users feel this way. Sadly, Twitter doesn’t give users the ability to turn this “feature” off. In its own announcement, Twitter called the “quick bar” a “very cool update.” I beg to differ and hope that Twitter will either allow people to turn this off for free or sell an ad-free version soon.

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