9 December 2011 - 3:03pm | posted by | 0 comments

Twitter takes inspiration from rivals for its new look

One of Twitter's new brand pagesOne of Twitter's new brand pages

Twitter's new website design has been heavily influenced by rival sites Google+ and Chinese equivalent Sina Weibo, according to a social media agency boss.

Jim Coleman, managing partner at We Are Social, said Twitter's overhaul had brought "substantial improvements" to the user experience of both its web and mobile interfaces. To do this it has taken some inspiration from elsewhere.

Coleman said: "[Twitter] has 'borrowed' some of the best features from China's Sina Weibo (a comparatively much more successful micro-blogging platform, with almost as many users as Twitter has globally in China alone) and adapted them for the Twitter audience. The intent is obviously to make Twitter more 'sticky'. Twitter has long been envious of Facebook's amazing average time on site figures, and this is their attempt to bridge that gap. These changes will definitely move the needle in the right direction, but the question is how much.

“Twitter has also borrowed from Google+, in the introduction of its new 'Made for you' feature, which much like Google+'s 'Sparks' aggregates a personalised collection of trending content from across the web.”

Twitter has also introduced new brand pages, something Facebook has long offered and Google+ has adopted in recent times.

“First, and most importantly, users will only see these pages when they're first deciding to follow a brand - so we can expect follow conversion rates to go up slightly, but the new brand pages will make no difference to brands everyday interactions with their followers and customers as this still all happens in the stream," Coleman said.

“Secondly, these new pages will probably be a premium feature, only available to brands who spend money on advertising on Twitter. I doubt the extra utility of the new brand pages will be enough to tip the balance in terms of decisions on Twitter ad spend.”

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