Twitter Suddenly Looks a Lot More Like Facebook

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 18 2012 10:00 AM

Twitter Facebook-ifies Its Design

Twitter redesign
Twitter has rolled out changes to its website and launched revamped apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Screenshot / Twitter blog

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo took to the Today Show this morning to tout design changes that emphasize user profiles and photos, lending the microblogging site a richer, more image-heavy look. In other words, it's beginning to look a lot like Facebook.

The redesigned profile pages let users put a big, horizontal header photo behind their standard headshot, not unlike the cover photos that Facebook rolled out when it launched Timeline. The photo will appear across all platforms, including Android, iPhone, and iPad. For the latter in particular, Twitter has launched a snazzy new app that lets you view photos and stories in full-screen landscape mode. And the updated mobile apps display a user's "photo stream" beneath her tweets, giving uploaded photos new prominence on the site.

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The changes make it clear that Twitter sees itself competing directly with its much larger rival, Facebook, to be people's social media home on the Web. In Twitter's ideal world, Facebook would become the site where you put the profile that you want to show your friends—and Twitter would become your public face on the Web.

Ryan Seacrest Twitter
Ryan Seacrest uploaded a header photo to illustrate the changes to Twitter's profile pages.

Screenshot / Twitter

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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