Twitter just debuted its new homepage, putting search at its core. This plays to the company’s growing strength in giving a sense of what’s happening right now on any given topic. (It could also play to a potential business strength in selling ads against real-time search results, if Twitter’s co-founders decide to ignore their “advertising is less interesting” comments.) The trending topics get an added push to the front with three categories for seeing what’s become popular in the last minute, day or week.
The company removes a lot of explanation from the home page and instead positions Twitter as a service for unearthing what’s relevant now. From co-founder Biz Stone:
Defining a “tweet” for the uninitiated and explaining how to create an account doesn’t resonate with everyone. “Why would I want to do that?” is a common reaction. However, demonstrating the power of Twitter as a discovery engine for what is happening right now through our Search and Trends often awakens a sense of wonder which inevitably leads to a much more compelling question, “How do I get involved?”
Twitter also redesigned its search pages, but results are still organized by time-stamp and not for relevancy or popularity. Stone’s pretty explicit about wanting to improve this:
We have a lot of work to do when it comes to the quality of our search results and trend analysis but repositioning the product to focus more on discovery is an important first step in presenting Twitter to a wider audience of folks around the world who are eager to start engaging with new people, ideas, opinions, events, and sources of information.