Mashable yesterday published the sneak peak of a new look after a colleague spotted some pretty major changes on his page.

In fact, you could easily be mistaken into thinking you were looking at a combination of your Facebook and Google+ profiles.

The new look sees the familiar left-hand side profile picture and enlarged header photo, a lot like Facebook’s timeline.

And the new look also seems to be giving greater focus to images and video in a more horizontal layout of ‘boxes’ of content,  similar to those popularised by Google+ or Pinterest. 

So what?

Along with greater focus on mobile users, this seems to signal the convergence towards a more ‘unified’ look across social media platforms where the lines are starting to blur.

The ‘box’ format will not only ensure images are more visible, but also video content, so that we can all watch those Twitter Vines more easily.

And clearly it would generate greater advertising revenue for Twitter. The existing layout only allows for revenue to be generated from promoted tweets, trends and accounts, whereas a more visual design would support greater advertising opportunities for the network. 

For us users, if the design is rolled out, it does however mean we’ll have to go through and adjust our image templates (again) to ensure that profiles and headers are not skewed or cropped. The recommended header photo size in test is 1500 x 500 pixels, wider but shallower than current.

As with all of these things, Twitter is only testing this to a small user group, so it may be a while until more of us are exposed to the changes. And given that it is such a departure from the old look, time is probably a good thing before the inevitable upset amongst the Twittersphere.