Twitter revamps home page to retain first-time users now has more interactive features, like a column of recent "tweets" that is refreshed after a few seconds

Twitter has given its home page a makeover with the intention of giving first-time visitors a better idea of what the microblogging and social-networking site is and of the value it can provide, beyond being just a repository of status updates.

In addition to a layout redesign, now features a column of recent "tweets," selected by importance and quality through algorithms and refreshed after a few seconds.

Also new is a showcase of celebrities and other public figures with Twitter accounts, as well as a list of hot trends that scrolls across the home page.

The redesign's goal is to convey the message that Twitter is "a network where information is exchanged and consumed at a rapid clip every second of the day," wrote Doug Bowman, the company's creative director, in an official blog announcement on Tuesday.

"With so much being shared, we know that there's something of value for everyone. People who internalize the value of Twitter understand the power of this simple medium. But it hasn't been easy to make that value transparent or obvious for curious folks coming to Twitter for the first time," Bowman wrote.

Although Twitter's popularity has skyrocketed in the past couple of years, many people still don't grasp how the service works or how it can be useful for them.

In a recent study, BarracudaLabs found that only 21 percent of Twitter account holders have at least 10 followers, follow at least 10 people and have posted at least 10 "tweets," which are the parameters BarracudaLabs chose to separate active from inactive users.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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