This is fascinating at multiple levels. Neither Google nor Facebook have been effective at helping humans “make sense,” now it appears that Twitter–perhaps combined with Hypothes.is–just might be a hair away from creating the skeleton of the World Brain.
Business Insider, 8 December 2011
Twitter is revamping the service with personal Twitter profile pages, a new timeline that includes rich media and other related informationembedded into tweets, and easier search for information based on @ symbols (usernames) and hash tags.
Talking at Twitter’s unfinished new headquarters building in San Francisco, founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo explained that the changes are meant to make Twitter more accessible to everybody.
Their three goals:
- Expose the “universe within every tweet.” Tweets aren’t just 140 characters — there’s also context like retweets and replies, and embedded content like videos, images, and songs. Today, accessing this material still feels like opening a “side drawer,” said Costolo.
- Make Twitter less obscure to use. Today, the @ and # symbols are too obscure — people don’t know what they mean. This contributes to a lot of people visiting Twitter but not really participating actively. The redesign surfaces these symbols and makes them the gateway to find out more infrmation about people and topics on the surface.
- Share it with everybody. The world has 7 billion people. Most of those people are “not yet on Twitter,” said Costolo. The redesign will roll out to mobile devices simultaneously, and is streamlined to load up to 500% faster.
The trick is doing this without adding too much complexity. As Dorsey put it, “simplification is the key here.”