A Twitter Redesign To Attract Non-Techies Is On The Way

Ahead of its IPO, Twitter will introduce a drastic new redesign to attract and engage mainstream, non-techie newcomers.

Cross off #1 on our list of the 5 things Twitter needs to do before its IPO: Revamp itself to "appeal to normals."

A new report from AllThingsD's Mike Isaac says a major mobile app redesign is coming from the social network, scheduled to launch sometime after Apple unveils its new iOS 7 software on Wednesday. The redesign will drastically change the look and feel of Twitter's mobile apps in an attempt to make the service as appealing to non-techie newcomers as it already is to its generally tech-savvy user base.

To anyone who already uses Twitter regularly, terms like "hashtag" and "@reply" are part of a vocabulary that remains largely foreign to the uninitiated. Twitter COO Ali Rowghani recently told Fast Company's Ellen McGirt the company is "not delivering the product as we should,” acknowledging the at-times-steep learning curve associated with finding your way around Twitter. A priority for Twitter now is to make the experience easy, enjoyable, and immediately engaging, even for someone who doesn't know what an "RT" is (it's a retweet).

Perhaps the most drastic expected change is the splitting of the traditional, single stream of tweets that are presented in reverse-chronological order into separate feeds, with a dedicated stream just for photos shared on Twitter, and another stream possibly just for TV-related tweets. A TV-exclusive stream would make a logical follow-up to an experimental feature Twitter introduced earlier this summer that highlights trending TV shows in your timeline.

The redesign is also expected to introduce a much more visually rich, media-heavy interface for the historically text-heavy Twitter, displaying multimedia like photos and videos right in your timeline without requiring you to first expand a tweet to view them.

[Image: Flickr user Oakley Originals]

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3 Comments

  • collideous

    @Twitter has a much harder nut to crack than to explain #hashtags. "Normals" have yet to find a useful purpose in the service.

  • Portia A. Boulger

    It is not hard to understand hashtags & @repy. If a person is capable of finding Twitter and creating an account, they are definitely able to learn how to use it. Come on...a steep learning curve? I don't think so. I am a 60 year old who found it very easy to understand. Please STOP thinking that Americans are not capable of learning. We are a country of very intelligent people and there is no reason to dumb down Twitter.