SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microblogging sensation Twitter, which is now signing up 370,000 new users daily on average, is redesigning its website to make it easier for its millions of users to navigate the service and discover new information.
The four-year-old company, which this month reported more than 145 million users, announced on Tuesday new improvements, such as embedded YouTube videos and other content, which is featured in a new two-pane layout.
Twitter Chief Executive Evan Williams said the overhauled twitter.com features a completely new architecture, which is more responsive and user-friendly
“It makes it such a richer and faster experience,” Williams said at a press conference to announce the new site.
Twitter allows users to send 140-character text messages — tweets — to groups of followers. The company has quickly become one of the Web’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and LinkedIn.
Williams said more than 90 million tweets are sent per day on average.
He hopes the new site will improve discovery, making twitter.com more of an information resource.
“You don’t need to tweet. Twitter can be great just as a way to get information,” Williams said.
Twitter is increasingly challenging established Web giants such as Yahoo Inc and Google Inc for consumers’ online time.
Forrester analyst Augie Ray said the Twitter redesign should help improve engagement with users.
“Twitter’s new Web functionality is a significant evolution that promises to attract more visits to Twitter.com, improve Twitterers’ interactions with content and each other, and ease adoption for Twitter newbies,” Ray said in a blog post.
The new twitter.com will start rolling out to a small percentage of users on Tuesday, and will be rolled out incrementally on a global basis over the next several weeks.
The company is aiming to broaden Twitter’s appeal. It is also rolling out a new advertising system, as it aims to transform it huge user base into a sustainable, revenue-generating business.
Williams said he hopes the redesign will help to better monetize the service.
Twitter’s backers include Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital, mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners.
Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Phil Berlowitz