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Twitter’s latest revamp aims to help new users

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More changes are afoot at Twitter: After tweaking the way the timeline works and opening up integrated analytics tools to all users, bosses at the social network have changed the welcome process that greets new users, saying it’s the company’s “first major update in 3 years” when speaking to Re/code.

While Twitter is hugely popular with tech enthusiasts, journalists, celebrities and many other groups, it’s still a long way short of finding a userbase the size of Facebook’s (271 million versus 1.32 billion at the last count). The powers-that-be at Twitter will be hoping the latest changes help bring more people through the doors and raise its stock price as a result.

Related: Twitter likely to introduce Buy button later this year after partnering with Stripe

So what’s different? The revamp is aimed at giving new users a more rewarding experience straight from the off. The front page at Twitter.com presents a rotating carousel of images tweeted by users, while the process of finding people to follow from scratch has been improved — the emphasis is split between people you might actually know and celebrities.

Responding to claims that the platform is difficult for first-timers to understand, Twitter now opens by asking you about your interests, rather than trying to explain how the timeline works. The idea is you’ll get to grips with the flow of incoming tweets as you subscribe to new accounts. New users are then prompted to publish their first tweet by picking from a range of examples.

After the soccer World Cup proved Twitter’s usefulness for major events, share prices rose sharply on the back of an impressive earnings report at the end of July. CEO Dick Costolo and his team will be hoping a new wave of fresh users will be persuaded to stick around on Twitter by the improvements to the on-boarding process. If you’ve never dabbled in Twitter before then now might be a good time to jump in.

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David Nield
Dave is a freelance journalist from Manchester in the north-west of England. He's been writing about technology since the…
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