April 9, 2014, 10:42 AM

Twitter hopes its redesign leads to more ad dollars

The social network has begun rolling out Facebook-like profile pages that give users more control over how their personal details appear. The redesign aims to make Twitter more accessible and increase the amount of time consumers spend on the social network, says an expert.

Lead Photo

A screenshot of the new Twitter redesign.

Twitter Inc. is giving its profile pages a Facebook-like redesign.

The new look, which the social network plans to roll out to all users and brands in the next few weeks, features a larger profile photo and lets a user “pin” one of his tweets to the top of his page, rather than showing his most recent post. The new pages will also give, a consumer  control over how he views other Twitter user’s information. For instance, he may select to see only another user’s tweets, her tweets with photos and videos, or tweets with replies.

Twitter says the redesign will help consumers to better express themselves on the social network, and that it will make the platform easier to use and understand. By simplifying how it works, Twitter wants to drive more consumers to use the platform, says Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc.

Twitter’s growth rate is slowing—it had 241 million monthly active users at the end of 2013 and added 23 million users in the second half of last year, a 10.6% growth rate. For the sake of comparison, Facebook Inc.-owned photo-sharing site Instagram says it has more than 200 million monthly active users and that it added 50 million consumers in the past six months, a 33.3% growth rate.

The microblogging platform also wants to drive its existing users to spend more time with it, which would lead to more opportunities for presenting ads to them, Elliott says. “Facebook often shows as many as eight ads to a user when he first logs in,” he says. “Twitter wants that same chance.”

The redesign’s launch comes only a few weeks after Twitter began letting users include up to four photos in a tweet and rolled out photo tagging, which lets a user “tag” other Twitter users in a photo. Both moves, which mirror similar features long available on Facebook, also aim to increase the amount of time consumers spend on Twitter, Elliot says.

 

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