Twitter and Facebook have been becoming more and more like one another for years, and the trend continues with a new design Twitter is testing for its user profile pages on the desktop.
It's unclear just how many people are seeing the new look, but it is drastically different, and yes, it is quite Facebook-like in some ways. Mashable has a screenshot.
— Mashable (@mashable) February 12, 2014
The Twitter design also puts updates in two columns, which is actually more like Facebook Page timelines than user timelines.
Obviously reaction is mixed.
@andersonmj05 although I rarely use desktop twitter. All mobile and I can't imagine that redesign would make sense.
— Shanna (@Shanna) February 12, 2014
— Jen DeGiovanni (@Jen_Balthaser) February 12, 2014
— Frances Gilman (@Fran_Gilman) February 12, 2014
Please no. http://t.co/ty5kC9KWUT
— Shane Mulcahy (@ShaneMulcahy) February 12, 2014
— Maya Szydlowski (@maya_szydlowski) February 12, 2014
Oh, good. Twitter is changing again. That'll make everyone happy. http://t.co/m8X6j8BrY5
— David Galloway (@DG2U) February 12, 2014
Once (and if) this rolls out to everyone, I imagine we'll see a great deal more complaining. Remember when Twitter made that change to the @reply format?
In the end, will it really drive anyone away from Twitter? I doubt it. Isn't the bulk of Twitter use more about the timeline than the profile anyway?
What's interesting is how busy the profile has become, and how much Twitter has added to its service in general over the years. Historically, it's been the "simple" social alternative. The company has always talked up its simplicity, but now its a public company, and it has to make moves to grow. User growth is already a concern, and its lack of it sent Twitter shares tumbling upon its first earnings report.
I don't know if a change like this will do anything to help user growth, but its more visual look could encourage users to at least use Twitter more for photo sharing. At least Twitter isn't stagnating.
About a month ago, Twitter rolled out a fairly subtle homepage redesign, putting it more in line with its mobile apps.