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Twitter unveiled a new look yesterday, setting itself the goal of becoming consistent across all platforms.

And by ubiquitous, Twitter means boosting its 100m active users – who currently tweet 250m times a day – to 7bn.

Speaking at LeWeb today, director of platform Ryan Sarver said the focus was on simplicity.

In a world where Facebook and Google are competing on features, we want to focus on being simple. It about being simple, consistent and fast.”

One of the main new features for marketers within yesterday's redesign are customisable brand pages.

Brands needs to be able to express themselves more freely and promote the content they want so that users can engage with it."

However Jim Coleman, managing partner at We Are Social, said the new pages were unlikely to have a large impact on brand engagement.

First, and most importantly, users will only see these pages when they're first deciding to follow a brand - so we can expect follow conversion rates to go up slightly, but the new brand pages will make no difference to brands everyday interactions with their followers and customers as this still all happens in the stream."

Coleman also suggested that the brand pages were likely to be a premium feature for brands that spend money with advertising on Twitter, but the new function probably wouldn’t be enough to tip the balance in terms of a decision on ad spend.

In regards to the overall redesign, Coleman said the new look offered substantial improvements to the user experience in its web and mobile interfaces.

Some of the features have been ‘borrowed’ from Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, which has almost as many users in China as Twitter does globally.

 The intent is obviously to make Twitter more 'sticky'. Twitter has long been envious of Facebook's amazing average time on site figures, and this is their attempt to bridge that gap. These changes will definitely move the needle in the right direction, but the question is how much.”

Twitter has also taken inspiration from Google+ with the introduction of its new ‘Made for you’ feature, which is much like the Sparks function on Google+ that aggregates a personalised collection of trending content from across the web.

David Moth

Published 9 December, 2011 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Rosie

Isn't the world population around 7 billion?

over 4 years ago

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Joshua Gilmer

Yes Rosie, but you have to account for all the businesses and groups that have their own Twitter accounts. All the fake accounts, all the spam accounts, all the lost password accounts...they add up! Why, there is even a Twitter that will send you a C.S. Lewis quote daily. Surely 7b users would only equate to maybe 700 million users. It's a lofty goal, but hey...Facebook's done it! Aim for the moon, and if you fall short you've at least made it to Everest.

over 4 years ago

Thomas O'Rourke

Thomas O'Rourke, Senior SEO Account Manager at Search Laboratory

Is there any data out there regarding Facebook/Twitter and time on site figures?

over 4 years ago

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James Robertson, Web Marketing Manager at www.venuebirmingham.com

What?! - Twitter has a goal of total users that exceeds the global population?! http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=world+population

And of those, 1.8 billion have net access - so Twitter is going to wire up 5 billion people and provide them with computers for web access to acheive it's goal of getting more users than people on the planet?! http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=percent+of+world+population+with+internet+access

Come on; I really expect better quality articles from Econsultancy.

over 4 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Rosie, I think Ryan Sarver's point was that Twitter wants to keep growing so eventually everyone in the world uses its product. In reality, I'm sure he realises this won't happen.

Thomas, I couldn't find any recent figures but this chart shows it overtook Google for time spent on site last summer http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-surpasses-google-in-time-spent-on-site-domestically-2010-09

over 4 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Hi Thomas, Nielson's 2010 figures put average Facebook time on site at around 7hrs per month (there's a nice top-level round-up here: http://bit.ly/9Autnq). Experian reported a slightly lower figure in 2011 of around 4hrs 35mins per month, while average time per session is 23mins,20 seconds.

Generally speaking, figures have shown Twitter as having shorter visit times, again, Experian figures recorded an average of 2hrs 12 mins per month, with a 13.1 minute average session time, although most heavy users would be logged in via a third party app so this isn't a concrete figure (my own Tweetdeck is on constantly, so while my session may only be a minute at a time, I'm pretty much constantly 'on' Twitter!)

Additional information on this is available in the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium, and in our Twitter and Facebook reports.

Rosie and James - yep, The population hit 7bn last week, the figure was a quote from Twitter at #LeWeb (which has been widely reported: http://tnw.co/sW0Xwx), meaning that Twitter want's EVERYONE to use the platform eventually.

over 4 years ago

Jake Hird

Jake Hird, Director of Research and Education at Econsultancy

Hi Thomas, there might be something in our ISC reports - http://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium - Although off the top of my head, I'm not 100% certain.

Hope that helps.

- J

over 4 years ago

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Michelle Carvill

The stats may be skewed re Twitter usage - as many users I know don't actually use Twitter.com - but instead Hootsuite, CoTweet, Tweetdeck etc. I keep Hootsuite open all day as do my colleagues, constantly watching. Also for Research purposes, which Twitter is a great resource for, - this activity (which is usually pretty time consuming) isn't going to be directly measured via Twitter.com. 'Time on Site' stats I suspect aren't measuring external platforms. If anyone has any stats on usage via Apps - then pls do share.

over 4 years ago

Thomas O'Rourke

Thomas O'Rourke, Senior SEO Account Manager at Search Laboratory

Thanks guys. An average session time of 23 minutes is just astonishing!

over 4 years ago

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