Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

April 9, 2014

Twitter tweaks website to attract new users

NEW YORK — As Twitter looks to broaden its appeal beyond its 241 million users, the company is introducing a redesign of profile pages that includes bigger photos, more user controls and a distinct resemblance to Facebook.

"Moment by moment, your Twitter profile shows the world who you are," the company wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "Starting today, it will be even easier (and, we think, more fun) to express yourself through a new and improved Web profile."

As part of changes coming in the next few weeks, users who access Twitter via the Web will notice larger photos on their profile pages. Besides profile photos on the left corner of the page, the redesign includes a large banner photo that resembles the big rectangular cover photos on Facebook pages. Users will be able to "pin" one of their tweets to the top of the page to give others an idea of the topics they like to tweet about. In addition, tweets that receive the most interest from other users will appear slightly larger.

The more visual look is an attempt to attract people who may be intimidated by Twitter's onslaught of text filled with quirky acronyms, at-symbols and hashtags. The changes come at a time when Facebook is adding features to its site that are Twitter-like, highlighting the way the two companies are jockeying for people's time and advertisers' dollars.

Is Twitter saying a picture is worth 140 characters? Perhaps not. The new profiles don't apply to Twitter's mobile app, which is a more popular way to access the service than the website. Mobile is also where Twitter earns most of its money. EMarketer expects about 77 percent of Twitter's estimated $1.1 billion in advertising revenue to come from mobile this year.

Even so, Twitter has acknowledged that it needs to reach a bigger audience. CEO Dick Costolo described the effort in broad terms during the company's February earnings call with analysts.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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