Up Close With Twitter’s New Home Page & Topic Area

Twitter’s efforts to improve its welcome mat for people who aren’t signed into Twitter continue, but they continue to be mostly under wraps.

Twitter has been experimenting with a revamped homepage for logged out users since early February, aiming to provide a better on-ramp for the 500 million people who visit Twitter every month without signing in.

Unlike the current homepage (see screen grab above) with its single image and front-and-center sign-in prompt, the experimental homepage displays multiple categories being discussed on the network. Twitter hopes the effort will show the uninitiated what they are missing and entice more of them to join the ranks of its 288 million active users.

Twitter spokesperson confirmed that experiment is continuing and being displayed to a limited number of users. We caught a glimpse this week and it’s definitely still a work in progress. There’s no real connection between the logged out experience and the logged in. A person who hits the page can explore streams, but once he or she signs in, those streams are lost. There’s no way to find them again or follow them.

Presumably, that’s where another Twitter experiment — “Instant Timelines” — would kick in. Instant timelines are meant to give new users a engaging feed immediately after signing up without having to follow anyone.

Here’s a closer look at the homepage experiment:

The Main Logged-Out Homepage

Welcome_to_Twitter<_The_people__topics_and_conversations_you_care_about 2

Close Up Of Homepage Top

Welcome_to_Twitter<_The_people__topics_and_conversations_you_care_about 3

Tech Blogs Reporters

If you click through to one of the topics in the left rail, you are presented with a stream of tweets from sources within that topic. This one is from tech blogs and reporters. Note that there’s no indication of what blogs or individual sources are populating the feed.

Tech_blogs___reporters<_Top_Tweets_from_leading_sources_tech_news_and_commentary_

General News Sources

Here’s how the general news category looks:

General_news_sources<_Top_Tweets_from_leading_newspapers__networks_and_sites_from_around_the_country_

Pop Artists

And for pop artists:

Pop_artists<_Top_Tweets_from_leading_pop_singers__groups__and_musicians_

Search Page

The search page is very similar to what you see on the advanced search page as a logged-in user, except for the prominent “Get instant updates on” call to action in the upper left:

sxsw<_Twitter_Search


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(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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