Everything You Need To Know About The New Twitter.com

Ev Williams

Photo: (cc) Kenneth Yeung

Twitter reinvented itself last night.From what we’ve seen so far it did a smart job.

The main reason the redesign works: Twitter seems to have finally decided to capitalise on what it is, not what its founders and top executives once hoped it would be.

Twitter now realises it is a broadcast medium where some consumers can talk back, if they want to.

It isn’t trying to make itself into what it isn’t – some sort of social network designed around what people are eating for lunch.

Twitter is now a site for reading, watching videos or looking at pictures.

Redesign done, here come Twitter ads

Twitter, like Facebook, was forced to embrace ads against its will

Silicon Valley's idealists hate the concept of advertising.

They hate 'brand' advertising in particular because it's supposed to coerce users into wanting to buy something they didn't previously want to buy.

But after avoiding brand advertising for as long as they could, Twitter and Facebook now make it their business.

The new Twitter.com was first designed as a pet project.

GigaOm reports: 'The new Twitter.com is a full Twitter client using the company's APIs.

It was built on the @anywhere platform, which helps pull information about profiles and other data in order to be displayed in Javascript. @anywhere was previously known as the little media widgets the company announced at SXSW this year. Two engineers played around with building a Twitter client on top of @anywhere and demoed it, then the company decided to run with it as a larger project.'

Twitter platform boss Ryan Sarver told GigaOm that Twitter photo and video providers will lose pageviews now that Twitter will show their photos and videos right on Twitter.

The upside for those providers is that they are still not dead.

Related tweets will be a good place for ads.

'On the new Twitter.com,' reports GigaOm, 'when you click on a tweet in the left pane, in the right pane you'll see things like tweets with the same hashtag, or tweets in the same conversation, or tweets in the same place.'

Sounds like a great place for Twitter to stick 'promoted tweet' ads.

Traffic to Twitter.com has grown about 100% this year. That's slow.

Tweets per day are up to 90 million per day, according to Twitter CEO Ev Williams.

That's up ~450% from under 20 million a year ago. The problem for Twitter is traffic to Twitter.com only grew 100% during the same period.

That's bad for Twitter over the long haul, and this redesign is supposed to solve that problem.

Twitter decided not to piss off every media company on the planet.

Twitter almost decided to scrape media sites the way its scraping TwitPic et al.

But Sarver told GigaOm 'he wasn't sure that was a great solution either given copyright implications.' Smart. It's still thinking about scraping RSS feeds.

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