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Twitter unveils Facebook-like profiles

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Familiar? Twitter's redesign echoes that of another social network.

Familiar? Twitter's redesign echoes that of another social network.

Twitter has begun rolling out a major redesign of its user profile pages on the web, and it may look familiar to the more than 1 billion users of rival social network Facebook.

The new design is big on pictures: a bigger profile picture, a bigger banner picture and a bigger showcase for any pictures that users have tweeted.

Twitter said the new profile pages will also highlight users' tweets that have received high numbers of retweets and favourites.

Users can also pin their favourite tweets to the top of their profile pages, so "your best content is easy to find," Twitter said in a blog post. "It's easy for your followers to see what you're all about."

Users can now filter others' tweets when they go to their profile pages. This means users will be able to view other users' tweets, their tweets with photos or videos, or their tweets as well as their replies to other users. Previously, users could filter only the tweets of those with verified accounts.

Twitter is giving only a few users the option to turn on the new design – the AFL's official Twitter account has already made the switch. The company will begin rolling out the option to all users over the next few weeks, while new users will have the new design turned on by default.

The redesign is the most radical rolled out by Twitter in quite some time, but it isn't out of the blue. Early versions of it began popping up for some users in February.

The new look may irk users, but will likely please advertisers and brands. Being able to pin a tweet about your latest product or campaign to the top of your profile could increase exposure and grab new followers.

Now that Twitter is a public company, it has to assure investors that it can continue growing at a sustainable pace – and that means getting new users by making the social network easy to use for people who aren't already on it.

Apparently, if that means making the site look more like that other successful social media giant, so be it.

Los Angeles Times, Washington Post

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