Twitter is getting a makeover.
The popular social networking service announced this week that it is introducing its first redesign since the site launched four years ago.
Currently, the 160 million people who use Twitter see a page that consists of a series of status updates from other users they follow, with each update being 140 characters or less. These posts can range from inane life updates to breaking news, and often include links to other websites, videos and photos. Yet, each time users click on one of these links, they are redirected away from Twitter to the website that is being linked to. That is all about to change, however.
During the next few weeks, Twitter users will instead be able to view much of that content instantly on the site in a separate column that runs next to the stream of status updates. So if you want to view a video from YouTube or Ustream, or look at a Flickr photo that is being linked to in the update, you’ll be able to without leaving the page.
In order to make this happen, Twitter has forged a partnership with 16 major websites including the ones mentioned above, as well as Vimeo, Dailybooth and Etsy.
Aside from being able to display more media content, the extra column on the page will also provide a more prominent display for information like who you follow, your favorite tweets and trending topics.
Essentially, this redesign is a win-win for Twitter and its users. The new look is will likely help users get more engaged and stay on the website longer. Meanwhile, the new design provides more room to advertise and, by increasing the amount of time that users spend on the site, Twitter may also be able to boost its advertising revenue, which is something the company has been more focused on this year.