Twitter revamped its website on Thursday in an effort to make the microblogging service easier to use and to help companies better showcase their brands.
The new version of Twitter, which the company is gradually making available starting on Thursday, features a redesigned look as well as technological improvements that it said will speed up the service.
Twitter allows people to send 140-character messages, or “tweets,” throughout the network of over 100 million users. It is one of the Web’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and Zynga.
The company faces competition from Google Inc., which introduced a social networking service with capabilities similar to Twitter.
The new version of Twitter features a revamped profile page, in which a company can highlight a specific feature, such as videos or photos. Previously, the profile pages displayed a chronological list of the company’s most recent Tweets.
With the changes, it will be easier to find people and companies with Twitter profiles. All it will take is typing an “at” symbol in front of a user's handle. Entering a subject with a hash tag — the pound symbol — in front of it will show everything on Twitter related to that topic. And clicking on a specific tweet will display any other exchanges tied to the message to provide further context about the discussion.
Twitter is taking steps to build a profitable business on top of its popular service. The company began showing ads on limited parts of the service in 2010 and is expected to generate about $140-million in ad revenue this year, according to estimates by industry research firm eMarketer.
The company said it has more than 3,400 advertisers and it expects to launch an advertising system early next year that will allow companies to quickly create marketing campaigns on Twitter.
With files from The Associated Press