Twitter revamps site with multimedia and social tools

Twitter update brings fresh look, social tools, and multimedia to homepage.

Twitter says an update to its site is on the way and will stress user pictures, videos, and profiles in an attempt to compete with Facebook and Google in the race for ad dollars.

The revamp, scheduled to roll out over the next month, is the first redesign ever for the four-year-old service and is aimed at allowing users to get "more out of Twitter in a lot less time," said Evan Williams, Twitter's chief executive, at a media event announcing the redesign.

(See related: 8 Must-Have Twitter and Facebook Add-Ons)

Twitter, a popular micro-blogging service with 160 million users, has been criticized for its Website that critics say is unreliable and lacks features similar to Facebook that allow the sharing of multimedia content with friends.

The redesigned Twitter homepage addresses those concerns adding split screen on its front door with one side displaying tweets (140 character messages) and the other side consisting of a "details pane" where photos and videos referenced in tweet updates are displayed.

The redesigned Twitter homepage replaces the site's previous layout of a single timeline of updates. The new design eliminates the need for users to open a new browser window in order to view content related to Twitter messages. For example Twitter has introduced "mini profiles" so instead of having to open a new browser window to view a user's profile page, now you can click on a username in the timeline tweets and a mini-profile in the details pane appears.

Twitter also says that, thanks to partnerships with DeviantART, Flickr, YouTube and over a dozen more media-sharing Websites users will be able to see embedded photos and videos without leaving the Twitter site.

Twitter says the new changes will roll out as a preview over the next few weeks, during which you'll be able to switch back and forth between the new and old layouts.

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