Twitter has unveiled its revamped home page, which doesn't change anything for people who are already using the microblogging service -- but it's a different look and feel for twitter.com if you haven't logged in.
"Helping people access Twitter in more relevant and useful ways upon first introduction lowers the barrier to accessing the value Twitter has to offer and presents the service more consistently with how it has evolved," co-founder Biz Stone wrote on the company blog. "Twitter began as a rudimentary social tool based on the concept of status messages but together with those who use it every day, the service has taught us what it wants to be."
So what's new? Well, the interface is cleaned up and is a little more aesthetically pleasing, with Twitter's bird mascot now fluttering around a Twitter logo vaguely looking like a sunburst emerging from some fluffy clouds. (They certainly think highly of themselves over there!) There's a big Twitter Search button to "see what people are saying about" a given topic, putting the service's utility front and centre. Then there's a roster of trending topics by the hour, day and week.
Twitter's mantra has changed from "What are you doing?" to the rather less catchy "Share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world." Chances are, new visitors to Twitter.com are checking it out because they've heard about it in the news or their favourite presenters are using it on the radio. The new language reflects that.
And when you click the 'Sign up now' button? You're invited to 'join the conversation'. Yeah, that's right. Now think about whether 'the conversation' really wants to hear about the woman on the train who just won't stop sniffing.
"We're eager to see if encouraging a sense of wonder and discovery leads to a better first impression of Twitter," Stone concluded in his blog post. So let us get this straight: Twitter has evolved into a 140-character magical mystery tour with a pretty cartoon bird to lead the way. You can add your consonant of choice to Stone's surname.