Twitter introduces new look, and new HQ

Twitter has a fresh new look, which extends to its website, its iOS and Android apps, and TweetDeck. Twitter is planning a physical as well as virtual expansion: a cavernous new headquarters with room for more than four times its current staff.

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    A view of recently built apartment buildings last month at the south end of the Market district in San Francisco, where Twitter is set to move its headquarters next year.
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Thursday was a big day for Twitter. The ubiquitous microblogging service not only began rolling out a top-to-bottom redesign of its site; it also unveiled its future headquarters in downtown San Francisco. One thing is clear: the company is confident that big things are in its future.

Join us as we take a tour of the company’s new digs – both virtual and physical.

With this redesign, Twitter has aimed to simplify its interface, as well as standardize it across many platforms. The new look follows a four-column layout that’s consistent across the website, iOS and Android apps, and the TweetDeck desktop app. The redesign is rolling out slowly – Twitter says it’ll happen over several weeks – but early reactions are generally positive.

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Here’s how things will look when the redesign takes effect for you: On the far left, your Twitter profile appears in the “Me” section. Up above, you’ll see three navigation tabs. The “Home” section is a revamped version of your old news feed, with photos and videos now embedded into tweets, where they were pushed to the side before. “Connect” keeps track of your interactions with other users (@replies and mentions in others’ tweets). “Discover,” the most heavily redesigned section of the site, is more or less an updated version of Twitter’s search functionality. Twitter says that as you use the site, “Discover” will pick relevant stories and trends based on your other connections.

There are a few other specific changes, too. Companies now have landing pages similar to the ones in Facebook, with a bigger header image and “sticky” tweets that can stay on top of their timeline. And you can now embed your tweets directly onto a personal website or other page, complete with reply, retweet, favorite, and follow functions. You’ll also notice that the Tweet sharing button allows you to include a specific hashtag or mention a certain user with their @handle.

The new site has a lot going for it. So what about the new office?

Starting in June, Twitter HQ will be 215,000 square feet of office space in a historic Art Deco building in San Francisco. It will even have a rooftop garden! The building’s located in a downtrodden area of San Francisco, but city officials and Twitter executives hope the company’s presence will help bring new life to the area.

Co-founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo laid out a plan for workforce expansion, too, announcing that they would grow Twitter’s staff from 700 employees to about 3,000 over the next few years.

What do you think about Twitter’s new look? Easier to get around, or are you pining for the old interface? Are you busy laying plans to create a rooftop garden of your own? Let us know in the comments. 

– For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

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