Twitter adopted a new look Tuesday, one with a more visual appeal that relies heavily on images.
The new design focuses on photo- and video-sharing, allowing users to distribute different media directly onto a Twitter timeline, reports Gerry Shih in Reuters.
An image-centric Twitter does not change the basic process of the popular social media platform, but it could alter the feel of the experience, which had centered on 140-character messages. A new look supports the conclusion that Twitter always acknowledged—images and videos are what are most shared online.
A notable example is the most popular tweet in the company’s history, a photo of President Barack Obama on Election Night 2012 with the words “four more years.”
Twitter’s move once again shows that social media is one of the hottest areas in technology.
Facebook had also made recent changes to both its newsfeed algorithms and layouts to focus more on visual content, as well as purchasing Instagram for $1 billion.
Google also unveiled new features allowing users to post videos to Google+, as direct opposition to Facebook’s Instagram and Twitter’s Vine app.
The new Twitter layout drew a variety of reactions from early adopters and tech writers, many saying that the visual look appeals to newcomers put off by Twitter’s rolling text stream.
Reuters noted that Mathew Ingram, writing on the GigaOm blog, said Twitter could be “in danger of suffering from what some call the MySpace effect (an excess of ads and gaudy images)” that could alienate long-time Twitter users.
“Will the number of enthusiastic advertisers make up for the number of irritated and/or overwhelmed users?” Ingram added.
Aaron Levie, head of the file-sharing enterprise Box, commented by just saying how different the “new” Twitter felt.
“People on Twitter right now,” he tweeted, adding an photo of two characters from the movie Jurassic Park, with mouths open in disbelief.