[AI] Twitter tweaks website to show more photos, video

Renuka Warriar erenuka at gmail.com
Thu Sep 16 07:01:36 EDT 2010


S & T » Internet
SAN FRANCISCO, September 15, 2010
Twitter tweaks website to show more photos, video
AP
Twitter CEO Evan Williams makes a presentation about changes to the
social network Twitter at the company headquarters in San Francisco on
Tuesday. Photo: AP
Twitter CEO Evan Williams makes a presentation about changes to the
social network Twitter at the company headquarters in San Francisco on
Tuesday. Photo: AP

Twitter is turning its text-messaging website into a multimedia
showcase by adding a new pane that will make it easier for its 160
million users to check out photos and video.

The redesign unveiled on Tuesday may compel people to linger on
Twitter’s website for longer periods and come back more frequently,
making it a more attractive advertising vehicle.

“We are still figuring out all the new possibilities,” Twitter
co-founder Biz Stone said in an interview.

The facelift, expected to roll out around the world in the next few
days, splits the website into two panes. One is devoted to the 90
million messages, or “tweets,” posted on Twitter each day, and the
other features the images contained within the text. Until now, most
links to photos and video have been displayed on other websites or
browser tabs.

The new look further underscores Twitter’s emergence as a major
communications hub.

In the process, Twitter has evolved from a geeky hangout when it
started four years ago to a worldwide phenomenon today.

People are mainly opening accounts now so they can follow the tweets
from the friends, family, celebrities, media outlets and lawmakers
that interest them. These spectators, or “lurkers,” tend to only
publish their own thoughts or observations periodically.

Forrester Research analyst Augie Ray said he believes the growing
audience of spectators is the main reasons that Twitter had to do
something to make it easier to wade through the sea of content
cascading through its website each day.

“Improving consumption of Twitter-based content is important not just
for Twitter, but for interactive marketers as well,” Ray wrote in a
Tuesday blog post.

Twitter didn’t even start allowing advertising within a limited number
of tweets until five months ago. The privately held company, based in
San Francisco, still gets most of its revenue from a series of
data-sharing deals with Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and other
companies.

Stone said Twitter still needs to work on its business model before
pursuing an initial public offering of stock. That most likely will
mean attracting more advertisers in a way that doesn’t disrupt the
exchange of information and ideas on the service.

The split-screen approach of the redesigned website appears aimed at
achieving that goal.

The website’s left pane will look familiar; featuring a timeline that
chronologically stacks all the tweets from the people that
accountholders chooses to follow.

The right panel appears to open up new real estate for content. It is
being set up so users can click on individual tweets to look at
embedded images and other information without having to navigate away
from their home pages.

“It’s all about getting more out of Twitter in a lot less time,”
Twitter CEO Evan Williams said Tuesday.




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