If you haven’t logged into Twitter recently, then we highly suggest you do. On December 8th, Twitter unveiled a complete new look for Twitter.com, TweetDeck, and it’s mobile apps. Chairman of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, attributed the full design overhaul as a way to make Twitter “simpler not just for people already engaged but easier for new people to discover it and find value in it.” My initial thought is that it does just that.
Right off the bat, you will notice the layout has changed, with tweets now appearing smaller and on the right side of the page. Three new navigation tabs along the top were also implemented – Home, @Connect and #Discover. The Home tab, is similar to the previous Home, now with an easier way to embed content. The @Connect tab is the new source for all of your connections and hosts all tweets in which you are mentioned in a single place. #Discover is the newest feature, which displays content based on your location, what you follow, and what’s currently happening in the world. As you use the #Discover page more, it learns more about you and what you like and will display results and suggestions on new things to follow reflecting your previous interests.
Along with this major redesign, Twitter also introduced a new test group of brand pages. Rolling out these brand pages was a clear move by Twitter to compete with Facebook brand pages and the recently launched Google+ brand pages. These new brand pages allow for more customization and control over content. With the new design, brands will now be able to customize a large header across the width of the page to more prominently display their logo and tagline, as you see with Pepsi’s brand page above.
Brands can also choose to keep a specified tweet at the top of their tweet timeline, which can include an expanded view of a video or photo. This gives brands a better opportunity to control the content that viewers first see upon visiting their page. Another feature of the brand page is that @replies are separated out so that brands can reply to customer service types questions without flooding their feed. This is a nice feature for customer service oriented businesses that use Twitter as a resource for brand reputation management.
21 major marketers, including brands such as Pepsi Co., Disney and American Express, are participating in this release. The question on every marketers’ mind, is whether and when these brand pages will be available to smaller brands and businesses? Only time will tell. In any case, the new design and implementation of brand pages is a smart move by Twitter.