Microblogging service Twitter is redesigning its website! The new Twitter, promises the company, provides an "easier, faster and richer" experience. Well, that's all well and good, but any good narcissist/Twitter user would know to ask: What's in it for me?
The overhaul focuses on the design of the website, "streamlining" the user interface and adding in-site media capabilities with partner sites like YouTube, TwitPic, DeviantART and Kickstarter. I'd say, watch the official video above to learn more, but really all it tells you is that despite the overhaul, Twitter as a company will remain insufferably twee. (There are a some screen shots of the new design down below.)
On Wednesday morning, Twitter will roll out the changes to one percent of its users, and, over the next few weeks, introduce the new homepage to all users. Here's what will change:
If you're one of the 78 percent of people who access Twitter through the website: A lot! The new Twitter.com is (as Gizmodo's Jason Chen puts it) a lot more like a Twitter app, with "mini-profiles" of users that will pop up without navigating to a different page and "infinite scroll" functionality that removes the "more" button. The most exciting part for most people is the embedded media: Links to content on one of Twitter's partner sites—say, the sweet Simpsons porn cartoon you drew and put on Deviant ART—will pop up on Twitter.com, and save clickers from leaving the page.
If you're an advertiser: Your attitude towards Twitter. As Twitter itself says: "Advertisers are going to love it." Not only, says Twitter, does the "richer" experience keep users "more engaged," the onsite multimedia capabilities "open up creative possibilities for Promoted Tweets," i.e., video advertisements, all over your feed.
If you're a Twitter employee: The possibility that you will make a lot of money. If the new changes really make advertisers as happy as Twitter thinks they will, the company is that much closer to making more money as it spends, which, according to so-called economists, is how companies survive after the venture capitalists get bored.
If you're a Twitter power user: Not much. If you mainly use the service on your smartphone or through a third-party application like TweetDeck, it's unlikely anything will be different for you, since the changes are mostly to the website.
If you're one of the millions of people around the world who have never heard of, let alone use, Twitter: Not a goddamn thing.
Here are some screenshots showing off the new design, including video and map embeds: