Earlier this week, Twitter started rolling out a new version of their homepage with the aim of making their design simpler and their concept easier for new visitors to understand. When Twitter first launched, the world was new to micro-blogging and as a result, Twitter has always had to continually refine their message over the years to help new users understand what it is all about.
Let’s take a look at how the Twitter homepage has evolved over the years.
I’ve included this one just so you could put Twitter‘s phenomenal success into perspective. Just over 6 years ago, that is what Twitter‘s homepage looked like. $4500 might have seemed expensive at the time but I’m pretty sure it was the best investment they ever made!
Twitter was created in early to mid 2006 and launched with a simple design that tried to convince users to join and answer the simple questions: What are you doing?
The design in 2007 was very similar to the 2006 one. The title was modified slightly to highlight the fact that you could answer from your phone, IM, or directly from Twitter‘s website.
In 2008 the first significant design change was rolled out. Twitter no longer showed examples of what other people were posting and the sign up form was simplified. The homepage also included an explanation video as well as three quick tabs: “What?“, “Why?” and “How?“. Testimonials were also added to the bottom with the intention, no doubt, of increasing sign ups.
From 2009 onwards, Twitter have done major homepage changes every year. In 2009, the design changed completely with much more attention shifted to the popular (trending) topics. The sign up form was removed and replaced with a “Sign up now” button which linked to the form.
For the first time, Twitter stopped asking what are you doing? and instead changed their headline to: Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.
Once again, another huge design change. The new homepage brought back the examples of what popular Twitter users were posting, gave less prominence to the trending topics and changed its tagline to: The best way to discover what’s new in your world.
Launched just a few days ago, this design is once again a huge change in both the design and the message on Twitter‘s homepage. The sign up fields returned in a very simplified form and the example tweets were replaced with the profile pictures of famous Twitter users.
The headline was changed once again to: Follow your interests. Twitter also changed the tagline to show just how popular it has become: Instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favourite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world.
Twitter is an evolving company and I have no doubt that the homepage we see today is not the same homepage we will see in a year or so. For a company with such massive growth, it seems strange that they feel the need to constantly try new approaches to convince users to join. Still, there’s no harm in trying new things and Twitter definitely have the resources to see what works best.
What do you think of the changes?
Which version was your favourite? And why?