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Twitter Improves its Niche

Twitter-Interface

No one is arguing that Twitter isn’t popular right now, but many may argue its relevance and usefulness to the average user. With the recent revamping of their home page, including an integrated search field and trending topics, Twitter has set the stage not only for improved customer retention, but also a possible business model.

As a recent twitter user I often found myself evaluating my twitter experience and comparing it to other social networking . In the first weeks of tweeting I couldn’t help but notice that the way I used twitter was no different than how I used Facebook. I attempted to track down twittering friends (which wasn’t always an easy process) and then followed my Twitter feed to keep track of what was happening in their life. Unfortunately this method got a bit stale after some time as Facebook is much better suited for this (friend finding, commenting, liking). I was afraid that I might quickly become another statistic for Nielsen .

Fortunately for Twitter, their new homepage is not just a face lift, it’s a whole new approach to using Twitter. I went back to Twitter.com quite a few times today to see what the trending topics were. These trends are tracked by the week, by the day, and even by the moment, making the website fresh almost every time you visit it. Clicking on a trend will bring up a list the most recent tweets about that subject, often with an explination at the top of the page explaining why that topic is trending right now. I found this quite fun and interesting, and it is also where the money can be made. Google built its fortunes on selling ads next to search results. Twitter might find similar success selling ads next to tweet searches.

So is this some big Twitterevolution? Not really. Both of these features, searching and trending, have been available for quite some time through other parts of the website, or 3rd party applications and websites . But what this change does mean is that the average Twitter users will find much more value in the sevice as soon as they sign up, and the world of microblogging might make just a bit more sense.

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