Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: Twitter to Debut a New Main Homepage Next Week

Twitter will unveil a new main homepage next week at Twitter.com, said co-founder Biz Stone, in order “to better show who we are.”

In an interview with BoomTown this afternoon, Stone said the current page is essentially confusing to the masses of people who come to it, made aware of the microblogging service by the massive media hype it has received over the last year.

People arriving at the new main homepage will be greeted by a search box, information on Twitter trends and a panoply of more specific information about how they can use Twitter.

“You can try it out without having to sign up, so you can get an idea of what Twitter is before you use it,” said Stone. “We need to do a better job of explaining ourselves to people who hear about us and then have no idea what do to.”

Stone is right.

As you can see below (click on the image to make it larger), the current main homepage is pretty lame now, with a picture of a bird on a branch, some cursory explanatory what-why-how information, a link to a video and some media kudos, as well as an ability to sign on.


Stone said the goal is to make the page as lively as Twitter is.

“We have to turn a lot of awareness into engagement,” said Stone. “Our front page is not reflective of that right now.”

Thus, the San Francisco-based company has redone its homepage to be more interactive.

Said Stone: “We want it to show us as a place where people can discover what is going on in real-time and much more.”

It’s an interesting move for Twitter since the service could use a more robust homepage to give it more of a unified feeling.

Currently, users interact only with their own pages and do not use any central Twitter hub.

Eventually, although Stone did not say this was a goal, Twitter could use a more programmed homepage to feature popular subjects, tweets and more.

Part of the effort to make Twitter understandable is a new site called “Twitter 101,” which Stone said was to give companies a way to understand how to use Twitter.

(You can see the site here.)

In a blog post on Twitter 101 today, Stone wrote:

“We coordinated with business students and writers to surface some interesting findings, best practices, steps for getting started, and case studies. The results demonstrate how customers are getting value out of Twitter and suggest techniques businesses can employ to enhance that value. While this work was envisioned for businesses, it’s also useful for anyone using Twitter so have a look if you like.”

As an added bonus, here is a full video of Stone and Twitter CEO Evan Williams talking about the innovative start-up in an onstage interview with Walt Mossberg and me at the D: All Things Digital conference in late May: