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4/8/2014
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Twitter Redesign: Hello, Facebook

Twitter's newest profile revamp prompts comparisons to Facebook, but the changes make it more usable. Here's what to expect.

Twitter users: Your profile just got a heavy dose of Facebook.

Beginning Tuesday, Twitter will begin migrating users to a new profile design that it tested back in February. The new look features an extended cover photo with navigation tabs below it to view your tweets, photos, videos, accounts you follow, your followers, and lists. Your profile picture moves to a new left-hand column; below it are your bio, location, suggested followers, photos, and trending topics.

Along with the new design, Twitter will launch three new ways for you and others to interact with tweets. For example, your tweets that receive more engagement -- such as more favorites, retweets, and replies -- will appear in slightly larger type "so your best content is easy to find," Twitter said in a blog post.

[Facebook has suffered some strikeouts during its 10 years. Read more: 10 Famous Facebook Flops.]

Two other additions include pinned tweets, which let you choose one of your posts to tack to the top of your page, and filtered tweets, which let you choose which timeline to view when looking at other profiles. You can pick from a regular tweet view, tweets with photos/videos, or tweets and replies, Twitter said.

Twitter's latest changes are bound to draw comparisons to Facebook, and for good reason: The new profile design borrows heavily from the social network -- from its large cover photo, navigation bar placement, and new location of your profile photo and information, to the multiple streams that display filtered content and the new pinned content feature.

While some users may lament a more Facebook-like design, the changes do improve the desktop version of Twitter. Viewing a user's content by photos and videos is handy, the larger typeface of select tweets makes it easier to scan for important posts, and the overall profile design -- as similar to Facebook as it may be -- feels more familiar.

While Twitter green-lit many features from its February test, some didn't make the cut. Most notably, Twitter did away with a new tweet display that reorganized your content based on engagement rather than the chronology of your posts. It also ditched the Pinterest-esque display of your tweets in your personal stream -- both of which initially drew criticism.

The new design does, however, keep the Pinterest card design it tested when viewing another user's photos/videos, following, and followers feeds. In the photos/videos view, you can reply to a post, retweet it, favorite it, and share, embed, or report an image by clicking the icons below each one.

Twitter will gradually roll out the new design to users beginning Tuesday. New members who sign up for a Twitter account will automatically receive the new profile, the company said.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
4/9/2014 | 1:40:24 PM
Why would you do that?
The virtua of Twitter is its enforced simplicity, 140 characters of get-to-the-point space. You can gussie that up with a lot of other stuff, but why would you? Twitter is diluting its unique function and identity by looking and acting more like Facebook.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
4/9/2014 | 11:10:04 AM
Re: Twitter photos
I'm going to risk looking dated. A lot of the value I get from Twitter is links to good articles highlighted by people I follow, not photos. I also really like the clean, uncluttered look of the current UI. I really don't want it to get too noisy. For some reason, Facebook always feels like it's screaming at me, and LinkedIn is utilitarian but ugly. Twitter had, in my opinion, the best balance between information and open space on the desktop version. I hope that doesn't get lost.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
4/8/2014 | 4:27:26 PM
Twitter photos
So you will have to do photos on Twitter, like it or not, or you will look dated. And be careful what you favorite. What else pops out here, readers?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/8/2014 | 3:44:35 PM
More like Facebook?
I hope Twitter doesn't take the Facebook envy too far. If it starts filtering posts like Facebook, it's done.
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