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Twitter relaunch a quest for ‘simplicity’, says Twitter Platform Chief

So the “new, new Twitter” has rolled out and there are the lovers and haters. But what does Twitter say about the rollout?

Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform for Twitter, said the new Twitter was informed by a philosophy of “simplicity”, a strategy to keep it differentiated from the two other major social networks in the Western World, Facebook and Google+.

“In a world where Facebook and Google are competing on features — Twitter wants to focus on being simple. We want to be consistent, simple and fast,” said Sarver at the LeWeb conference in Paris on Friday.

Twitter, now about 700 employees, gets about 250-million tweets per day or about one-billion per week. Sarver says the company now boasts 100-million active worldwide users, most of them now outside the service’s home-country the US. By comparison, Facebook has about 800-million users.

Sarver said the design changes were informed by an increasing need to connect people to interesting and relevant content as the platform gets busier, and content becomes harder to find for users.

“In the new design we wanted make sure we connect people with content that is most interesting to them. We need to do a great job of understanding who that user is and connecting them to the content they are care about,” said Sarver.

The New York Times thinks the Twitter changes are primarily to “draw new users, keep them on the social network longer and attract more advertisers“.

The new changes are being rolled out on to Twitter’s mobile platforms too. Sarver acknowledges that the Twitter experience across multiple devices has been “inconsistent” — and that a large part of the effort behind the new Twitter has been to unify this experience.

“We want to be on 7-billion devices in the world,” said Sarver.

Sarver spoke about how the integration of Twitter into iPhones, iPads and iPods had boosted new sign ups on the social network by about 25%, calling it a “huge success”.

The new features include enhanced profiles for users, small companies and big companies, four new tabs and embeddable tweets.

Twitter has launched with 21 advertising partners, some charities and individuals, including @AmericanExpress, @BestBuy, @bing, @chevrolet, @CocaCola, @Dell, @DisneyPixar, @generalelectric, @Heineken, @HP, @intel, @JetBlue, @Kia, @McDonalds, @nikebasketball, @NYSE_Euronext, Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible – @GhostProtocol, @pepsi, @Staples, @subwayfreshbuzz, and @VerizonWireless

Twitter noted that embeddable Tweets are a new way to add any Tweet to websites just “by copying and pasting a line of code”.

“Your website visitors will see a Tweet that focuses on the content by surfacing the conversation and media. Visitors can follow the author with a single-click, and reply, retweet, or favourite the Tweet without leaving the page,” says the official Twitter blog.

Twitter will be rolling out the redesigned platform over the next few weeks, but users can can see it immediately on mobile.twitter.com, Twitter for iPhone, and Twitter for Android.

Author | Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again. More