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Your Twitter stream — on Twitter.com — is getting a completely new look. The company just announced an overhaul of its site that adds a second pane to the main page. Users who click on individual Tweets will now see additional information there, like the most recent Tweets created by the author, and the photos and videos that a user is linking to. The company said that it has partnerships with 16 companies — including Flickr, YouTube, and Brightcove — to make their content viewable in that second pane.
The changes strike a balance between maintaining Twitter’s traditional look and adding much more content to the Twitter stream, since the existing stream is not being crowded with photos and other content. Instead, users only see that additional information on the new pane.
It also gives people another reason to use the Twitter.com site to Tweet, instead of other Twitter clients. Already, CEO Evan Williams said, Twitter.com is the most popular way people access Twitter, accounting for about half of all users. That has become especially important for Twitter since it is now including advertising on its site but not (yet) on third-party Twitter clients. Indeed, Twitter executives said during a press conference that while they did not have any immediate plans to “monetize” the new pane, users would potentially be able to select a “promoted Tweet,” and then see related information, like a movie trailer, there.
So, will Twitter be able to handle the increased load, considering so much content will now be added to the site? Twitter executives said the new site was built on a “more robust and stable platform.” It’s going live for a subset of users this week and Twitter says it will be rolling out “incrementally” for others over the coming weeks. Williams blogged about the changes on the corporate site.
Staci adds: About that pesky making money thing, the changes should add to the site’s engagement and increase its potential value for advertisers. But Twitter execs, who met with all kinds of partners to make sure the new photo and video feeds work, admitted that advertisers were getting their first look at the same time as everyone else. They truly believe in if you build it, they will come — and someone will pay for it eventually.