As the saying goes – if you can’t beat them, join them; Twitter could very well be considering this. On Tuesday, the company tested a new design that looks awfully like their social media rival Facebook.
Last September, the company wrote that testing changes are constantly occurring on their website with a select groups of users. This time around, the new Facebook design was first tested on the page of a Mashable editor and following that individual, a Time editor also found themselves with a new look account.
The design had more of an emphasis on photo sharing and strayed away from its current, text-driven, unique look, to a more common social media platform type of appearance. This included a larger profile picture placed on the left, flanked by a cover photo with tweet counts and follower counts as a layer on top of it. The cover photo was 1500-pixels-wide.
The Verge describes the view of the tweets as “mosaic,” with a profile that no longer has the vertical and chronological timeline. Basically, the design is similar to Google+ or Facebook, featuring content cards that are large and vibrant.
Not much is clear if this design will be accessible to all users or if these tests will lead nowhere and get scrapped by engineers on Twitter. However, it is widely known that Twitter has contemplated abandoning the textually emphasized, vertical layout for profile pages. A new Facebook like design would not be surprising, as it has the type of accessible appearance that Twitter longs to have.
This test comes a few days after Twitter’s first earnings report since going public. The company earned 2 cents per share on last quarter’s revenue of $242.7 million. In addition, Twitter reached 241 million active users, up slightly from the previous quarter’s number of 232 million. However, on the downside, stock for Twitter on the news declined more than 10 percent.
The CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo said that retweets and favorites have been boosted by 35 percent due to redesigns. Furthermore, there was a 25 percent increase in direct messaging and a 120 percent increase in the number of searches compared to the year prior.
Costello’s plan to continue Twitter’s growth involved three goals. The company wanted to improve new users experiences, especially in regards to mobile devices. They also wanted to ease the ability to have both private and public conversations on the social media platform, along with being able to insert more videos and pictures into the timeline to attract more users. Costello was quoted as saying how overall he wanted to make Twitter more “visually engaging.”
Some of Twitter’s most biggest criticisms is how it is relatively less mainstream, compared to such media platforms as Facebook. In fact, the latter has one-fifth more users than Twitter, and it is continually growing. As a result, sometimes beating them, requires joining them. If the tests comes to fruition and Twitter changes their design to resemble a more Facebook like appearance, Costello’s goal of making Twitter more visually engaging could very well be achieved.
By Kollin Lore