Twitter revealed marginal user growth–the least it has shown since going public–during its second-quarter earnings call earlier this week. The social network brings in just 304 million active users per month, a number that pales in comparison to Facebook’s nearly 1.5 billion monthly users. Twitter has long struggled to market itself successfully, due in part to the fact that new users have to follow the right accounts and use the site regularly to get a grasp on it.
On Thursday, Twitter introduced a new homepage that should help clarify its mission. Twitter.com will now display relevant, curated sample tweets for hot-button issues and trending topics, ranging from news to sports to entertainment.
In the past, the homepage was essentially just a login page, giving little indication of what lay beyond. More recently, Twitter started displaying categories on its homepage, but only showed a stream of tweets if you clicked through.
Part of the issue is that, for better or for worse, Facebook curates its feed for users, employing an algorithm that highlights what it considers important. Twitter does not, so even if users take a chance on the platform, it will show them an unfiltered stream of tweets that update in real time. Unless you stare at Twitter all day, it can be difficult to follow the thread of a news item or conversation.
“The product remains too difficult to use,” Twitter CFO Anthony Noto said Tuesday. “We need to simplify the product so everyone can get value from Twitter faster. This is both a product issue and a marketing issue.” In other words, tweaking the homepage is just one of many steps: Once it snags new users, Twitter still needs to retain them, and that means making it simpler for them to navigate the platform.
[via BuzzFeed News]