Twitter has launched a revamped version of its homepage, with the aim of emphasising the role of the site as a search tool, and appealing to new visitors.
According to Biz Stone on the company blog the aim is to demonstrate 'the power of Twitter as a discovery engine for what is happening right now through our search and trends'.
There has been talk of Twitter being a search engine, and while most people will go to Google if they want to actually find something, there's no doubt that Twitter is a useful research tool, especially for journalists and marketers, to monitor real time trends and opinions.
The search box also makes sense as a method of attracting new users by showing them a glimpse of what the site is about; they can type in a topic of interest and see if people are talking about it.
As well as the prominent search box, topics that are popular right now, from the last 24 hours, or over the last week are displayed underneath the search box.
Here's the old homepage for comparison, the search option almost invisible in the small links at the bottom of the page:
It's an interesting move, and certainly an improvement on the old homepage. The search function on Twitter has been frustrating to use at times, leading to a number of third party search tools designed for the site.
At least now, the search box is easy to find, though I think it could do with more options, such as the ability to filter and sort search results by relevance and date to avoid the need to scroll down huge lists of Tweets.