By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm
Twitter has launched a revised home page–one that replaces the one that the site has had for as long as I can remember in essentially unchanged form. It only appears if you aren’t logged into Twitter, and therefore is of most importance to people who aren’t Twitter users–yet. It’s where Twitter has the opportunity to tell newbies what it is and why they should use it.
Here’s the new home page:
And here’s the old one (which I pulled up in Google’s cache–hence the highlights):
I’m struck my how utterly different the two explanations of what Twitter is are. The old home page says it’s a place to tell friends, family, and co-workers what you’re up to. The new one doesn’t mention anyone you know, or talk about treating Twitter as a personal status update. It says that Twitter is a place to engage in conversations with people you might not know who could be anywhere, on topics of all sorts.
The old home page did a good job of explaining what Twitter’s founders thought they had created back in 2006; the new one explains what Twitter’s users decided the service was. As with everything on the Web, it’s really the users who get to decide what a service does–in a real sense, Twitter was less invented than discovered. And it’s great to see Twitter finally acknowledge in a coherent fashion what it is today.