New Twitter Home Page a Good Start

Last Updated Jul 30, 2009 3:52 PM EDT

Right on schedule, Twitter launched its new home page this week, though you would not necessarily have known that if you are a regular visitor. Log out from your account, however, and and -- presto! -- there it is. You can evaluate whether this addresses the issue Biz Stone identified in an interview late last week:

"We need to do a better job of explaining ourselves to people who hear about us and then have no idea what do to."

First impressions are that the micro-blogging service has made a good start. The welcome screen is quite simple, with the logo, and the call to action -- "Share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world;" a large search field; and a tag cloud listing the most popular 25 hashtags for today; a sign-in field; and the same footer links familiar from the old home page.

The quality of real-time search on Twitter does not appear to have improved much, if at all, yet, however. And as for the tag cloud, I'd much rather that it was dynamic like at Twitscoop. Comparing the sites, only a few of the top trending topics on Twitter's new home page seem to be up-to-the-minute, and therefore, exploiting Twitter's real-time information flow.

"We have a lot of work to do when it comes to the quality of our search results and trend analysis," Stone admits in a blog post announcing the redesign. "But repositioning the product to focus more on discovery is an important first step in presenting Twitter to a wider audience of folks around the world who are eager to start engaging with new people, ideas, opinions, events, and sources of information."

As I've noted before, one of the best things about covering Twitter the company is the refreshingly unpretentious tone Stone sets for the company in his blog posts and media interviews. In explaining how the company is evolving and listing the reasons that people might like to try the service out, he adds this line, "Also, it's fun."

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital, Salon.com, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.