Twitter has unveiled a new profile design for its social network, with bigger pictures all around -- a bigger profile picture, a bigger banner picture and a bigger showcase for any pictures that may show up in your feed.
It's been long rumored that Twitter was planning a new look for profile pictures on its site to try to improve user engagement. It's the most drastic redesign the company has ever undertaken.
Still, it may look pretty familiar to the over 1 billion people who use another major social network, Facebook:
And the similarities don't stop with the visuals. Twitter is making its network's profile pages -- currently little more than a running feed of a user's own latest updates -- into more of a personal landing page.
A user's "best tweets" -- ones that are getting clicked on, shared or viewed the most -- are going to be slightly bigger so that, in Twitter's words, "your best content is easy to find." Similarly, users will be able to pin tweets of personal importance to the top of their pages so that observers can get a quick read on what kind of person you are.
Twitter is also making it possible to sift through a user's profile page and look just at tweets that have photos and videos, or at tweets and replies.
The new features are all about choosing a clear message to send to the people who are stopping by your user page to see if you're worth following.
The new look may irk users -- people don't like change, after all -- but may cheer advertisers or advocacy groups who are looking to build brand communities on Twitter. (Twitter is already showing off how useful the new layout can be to celebrities.) Being able to pin a tweet about your latest product or campaign to the top of your profile could help you more easily grab followers. That matters a lot when you're trying to build followers from people who may just be flitting by your profile, taking just a second or two to decide whether to hit the "Follow" button .
Now that Twitter is a public company, it has to assure investors that it can continue growing at a sustainable pace -- and that means getting new users by making the social network easy to use for people who aren't already on it.
Apparently, if that means making the site look more like that other successful social media giant, so be it.