New Twitter Layout & Self-Serve Ads: Good for Business

Today when you browse the Twitter Home page, you might be surprised to see a new layout. Indeed, Twitter has upgraded its new profile interface to all users.

Initially launched to a small group of users in December last year, the new layout was announced with the idea of making everything simpler.  Twitter’s not only incorporated more functionality into the new layout, but adds certain conveniences, like being able to preview an image instead of redirecting to the original source.

“As of today, all users have been upgraded to the new version of Twitter,” Twitter’s Support account tweeted unceremoniously.

In this new version, Twitter’s many modifications in the design divided everything into four main categories: Home, Connect, Discover, and Me.

To make navigation simpler, Twitter adds two navigation tabs @Connect and @Discover on the top left side with the Home tab. The much highlighted change is in the ‘Discover’ tab that displays trending stories along with relevant tweets. Through Discover tab you can navigate to Stories, Activity, Who to follow, Find Friends, and Browser Categories.

Beneath the Discover tab is the ‘Activity’ tab that shows you real-time information about the actions being taken by people you follow. You can see what they’ve retweeted, followed, replied to, and more.

Refreshed layouts can be an important way to keep audiences interested–Twitter took a tremendous amount of time preparing for this particular update as the microblog consolidates more functions into its web and mobile apps.

And Twitter’s not the only one to undergo an interface overhaul as of late.  Google recently ran another design test on their homepage. The update changes the ‘blue tabs’ at the top of the site to new ‘grey tabs’ with pull down icons. They also updated the search bar to include a drop down grid of all the different search types and apps instead of the old text lists. Google has even updated the new interface for web search, video search, news and blogs.

Facebook, on the other hand, is slowly introducing its new UI interfaces. Facebook Timeline, which was announced last September, is still rolling out to users. Timeline organizes your Wall posts and other online activities into chronological order. There’s more aesthetic appeal in the new Timeline, breaking down events, app activity, comments and shared content.

Social Interfaces in Social Media Business

Social interfaces play a crucial role for brands these days, and the trend is only accelerating.  A site layout has a big impact on how end users engage with the site and each other, and for networks like Twitter and Facebook, this can directly impact a network’s monetization scheme. Various social sites have made it possible for enterprises to gather an unmatched volume of consumer feedback through these interfaces to learn how and why users engage with a product.

As new ways to lure audiences become popular, business grasps the prospect to interact directly with consumers. For example, businesses can track the number of times users hit the Like button on Facebook, indicating they like the company’s products.  This generates a pool of users that are ripe for advertising, boosting the importance of the Like button’s growing points of interaction.

Twitter Further Monetizes its Ecosystem

Twitter now generates on average 230 million tweets per day, with over 50 million daily active users. Until recently, building out features for users was a top priority, but they’ve since built up their capabilities around monetization. The company has taken several measures to work in that direction, including the recent announcement of the long-awaited self-serve ads, set for availability in March.

Last year Twitter launched their Analytics tool, a tool that was in preparation for some time. In another step towards monetizing its platform, Twitter has provided a statistics tool intended for website owners wanting to know the impact of traffic from Twitter, as well as buttons for sharing. Twitter also provides an API for developers wishing to integrate data from Twitter Analytics into their products.

We also caught wind of Twitter’s goals for monetization when they acquired AdGrok, which provides advertising platform of running internet marketing campaigns for small businesses. Through AdGrok, Twitter looks to involve mush more in advertising platform for clients wishing to promote their messages through Twitter.

While Twitter continues to build out its own ad network, their extended ecosystem only continues to grow as well. Oregon based start-up Chirpify launched its Twitter Commerce Platform this week, which transforms Twitter as a commerce platform. The commerce platform will allow several types of advertising for brands, be they sponsored tweets, sponsored trends or suggestions.

New layout good for business

The transformed Twitter is a powerful platform for websites, allowing them to share their content, drive traffic and engagement. Twitter looks to effectively target these users with precision based on their interests and display tweets in a phased manner, depending on the level of commitment.

For example: you can promote or recommend products or services to your followers. If you already have advertisers on your site, in addition to their usual advertisements, you can offer them some ads to tweet regularly. You can also promote products via your Twitter account while using affiliate links in your posts. If you converse with a lot of followers or if you are in a highly targeted niche, this method can be particularly effective.

In order to improve the range of sponsored tweets from advertisers and increase revenue, Twitter’s new interface will allow brands to display their sponsored tweets to users who do not subscribe to their account. Twitter is also ready to deploy all its sponsored tweets on all platforms and external customers, such as Hootsuite, Seesmic or Echofon.

The challenge for the California-based network has always been expanding its advertising for profit without losing the values ​​that made them a success. Meanwhile, Twitter also turns to the mobile sector for another wave of interface and monetization updates, a key platform for their long term success.