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Twitter tests Facebook-like profile page redesign

Twitter tests Facebook-like profile page redesign

Company has said it continually experiments; no comment on this one

Twitter is reportedly working to redesign its profile pages, making them more visual, with bigger image, and looking a lot more like social rivals Facebook and Google+.

Mashable first reported that an editor had spotted a different looking profile page, with his photo and bio shifted to the far left. The typical vertical text look had been switched for bigger images and content cards.

Twitter did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The company had, however, mentioned changing its look and testing new features and designs in a September blog post .

Twitter is testing redesigns of user profile pages, making photos bigger and shift user information to the left. (Image: Screenshot)

"A common thread across recent releases has been experimentation," wrote Alex Roetter, a vice president of engineering with Twitter. "We've tested various features with small groups of our 200 million users before determining what we'll release ... We also experiment with features that may never be released to everyone who uses Twitter. Those experiments are perhaps even more valuable because they help us decide what not to do."

Roetter noted that a day rarely goes by when Twitter isn't trying at least one experiment.

"We're able to run tests more frequently because we've built a more robust experimentation framework, which we use to run tests not only on the Web, but also in our mobile apps: Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android," he added. "So what does this mean for you? You may see some features that your friend doesn't see, or vice versa."

However, this week's report about redesigned profile pages comes on the heels of the social network's launching a new look for its homepage last month. That redesign also is more visual, making room for larger images and placing users' profile photos on top of their cover photos.

The new design is more like Twitter's mobile app look. So it would make sense to have the site's profile pages follow suit.

"I think we're living in a world that is much more visual than ever before," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "I think it makes the interface easier to use, easier for Twitter subscribers to able to quickly identify whether that is a person you want to follow, instead of having to scroll through old tweets."

It hasn't gone unnoticed that the redesign makes Twitter look a lot more like social networking rivals Google+ and Facebook, which have also taken on much more visual look, playing up large images and videos.

"This redesign should make Twitter more appealing to Facebook and Google+ users as there's some consistency of experience," said Kerravala.

If Twitter pushes through this profile page redesign to all its users, there would be some symmetry to it, since Facebook has taken several cues from Twitter.

Facebook, for instance, began using hashtags, which Twitter made famous, as well as using a Twitter-like Trending feature.

This article, Twitter testing Facebook-like profile page redesign, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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