Twitter’s Big Announcement

Twitter is making a HUGE announcement today – happening right now.

Follow the livestream below for all the latest.

The New Twitter.com was announced today providing an easier, faster, and richer experience. unfortunately, it is only rolling out today to a select few (those that were invited to the press conference) – damnit !!!

Twitter is the best way to discover what’s new in your world. From football to film to philanthropy, people are using Twitter to discover what’s new about what they find interesting.

Twitter has always been about getting a lot in a little. The constraint of 140 characters drives conciseness and lets you quickly discover and share what’s happening. Yet, we’ve learned something since starting Twitter—life doesn’t always fit into 140 characters or less.

On the site, you’ll see the familiar timeline, yet underneath each Tweet is a handful of information, deeper context and even embedded media. Simply click on an individual Tweet and a details pane slides out on the right and reveals this content.

New design: The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll — you no longer have to click “more” to view additional Tweets.

Media: Now, it’s easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter, thanks to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.

Related content: When you click a Tweet, the details pane shows additional information related to the author or subject. Depending on the Tweet’s content, you may see: @replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more.

Mini profiles: Click a @username to see a mini profile without navigating from the page, which provides quick access to account information, including bio and recent Tweets.
These changes will roll out as a preview over the next several weeks starting with a very small percentage of registered accounts tonight. During the preview, you’ll be able to switch back and forth so you have time to grow accustomed to the way things work. Eventually, everyone will have the updated version of Twitter.com. We are incredibly proud of the work the Twitter web team has accomplished. We hope you are too!

For the rest of us, the common people, Ev says merely that’ll be a phased rollout dependent on testing and usage from the early invitees. The plan is to ensure stability is in place first.

Some high-level FAQ’s about todays announcement:

Q. Why are you making these changes to Twitter?
A. Twitter is already the best way to discover what’s new in your world. We wanted to make the experience of using it easier, faster and richer.

Q. How do the changes benefit Twitter users?
A. The new Twitter will help people explore and understand the world in a richer and more immediate way. Now you can get more of the info you want with less work.

Q. How do you think users are going to react to the new Twitter?
A. We think they’re going to love it. It’s everything they already love about Twitter, but better. Now, they can get the context and detail they crave without breaking the simple, familiar flow of information consumption. Think of it as a simple Twitter.com enhanced with extraordinary powers.

Q. How are these changes good for Twitter, Inc.?
A. Our goal has always been to make a good product to serve as many users as possible, which will help us make more money.

People who already use Twitter will use it even more and get more value from it. And people who are using it for the first time will more quickly discover and understand its value. This takes us a long way in making Twitter easier to use for new users.

With more and more engaged users, our ecosystem will benefit and advertisers will find new opportunities. When users, our ecosystem and advertisers all win, that’s very good for Twitter, Inc.

Q. How does the redesign benefit advertisers?
A. Advertisers are going to love it. The new, richer Twitter experience will keep people even more engaged, and it adds a multimedia element to advertising on Twitter. This opens up more creative possibilities for Promoted Tweets, and gives advertisers and their customers new & interesting ways to communicate.

You’ve likely noticed that a lot of entertainment companies have been advertisers in our early efforts. Imagine a movie premiere popping up on Twitter with a simple click versus needing to go off the site to see it. Or, think about the Old Spice campaign and what it would have been like to see the video responses to Tweets without needing to go off the page.

Q. How long will it take to make these features available to all users?
A. We’re rolling these changes out slowly over the coming weeks. We will initially make them available to just 1% of our users, starting in the morning San Francisco time on Wednesday, September 15th.

We have no planned timeline to get to 100% of users, but it likely won’t be as fast as our more minor product changes.

Q. Are you rolling these new features out to all users, or just to users in the U.S.?
A. We are slowly rolling the new Twitter.com out to *all* users over the coming weeks. The new site will be available in all of our supported languages, including French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese.

Q. How long have you been working on this effort? How many people worked on this?
A. Our team has been quietly working on these changes for the past six months. A core team of 15 people and an extended team of 70, led by Ev Williams, VP of Product Jason Goldman and web client product manager Kevin Cheng, played a key role in this project, but virtually every area of the company contributed to the effort.

James Hickshttp://about.me/jameshicks
James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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