The new Twitter homepage looks like... a searchengine!

Wed 29 July 2009 09:00, Bas van den Beld

There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not Twitter is a search engine. Some say 'no', others say 'yes'.But the redesign of Twitter's homepage today says: we want to be a search engine, or as they put it: a discovery engine.

The change to the homepage is for those not logged in to Twitter, so if you want to see it, be sure to log out first. The biggest change is without a doubt the big search bar on the homepage, which is joined by trending topics by the minute, hour and day.

The new Twitter homepage looks like... a searchengine!

With the new homepage Twitter says it wants to help "people access Twitter in more relevant and useful ways upon first introduction lowers the barrier to accessing the value Twitter has to offer and presents the service more consistently with how it has evolved." 

They believe new users should be able to learn by experience, without actually having to sign up. The search functionality should be "demonstrating the power of Twitter as a discovery engine for what is happening right now through our Search and Trends".

Twitter has done more than just change the homepage to become the 'discovery engine' they want to be. When you click on a featured topic on the homepage you will get a short description of why that topic is  given extra attention on the homepage. 
And Twitter has added a 'search tip box' which changes with every search.
The change by Twitter is a big one. Especcially for first time visitors it could be an interesting welcome. And with many using external apps for their Twitter-accounts the homepage might just become a starting point for doing searches on Twitter. Is this the start of the battle between Twitter and Google? Has Twitter become that search engine (ok, discovery engine) overnight? Time will tell...

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