Twitter leaks details of major redesign

Friday, April 9, 2010

Twitter has released statistics which it claims prove the site is a "global information network", as it prepares for a radical overhaul.

Matt Sanford, lead engineer for Twitter's international team, said in a blog post that over 60 per cent of new Twitter users have come from outside the US since the beginning of September.

The news follows Twitter creative director Doug Bowman's leaking of a screenshot of the new design for the site, in which user profiles show more information, such as when they joined and how many tweets they post a day.

Fred Wilson, principal of Union Square Ventures, which has invested in Twitter, has published a blog post indicating that the micro-blogging site could be about to undergo a major change.

Wilson said that third-party developers focused on the Twitter platform may have to consider more radical innovation, and the creation of "killer apps".

Wilson sits on Twitter's board of directors, and his views are likely to hold some weight. Twitter platform developer Doug Williams tweeted that Wilson's blog post was "incredibly timely", and that "all Twitter developers should read it".

"Much of the early work on the Twitter platform has been filling holes in the Twitter product. Mobile clients come to mind. Photo sharing services come to mind. URL shorteners come to mind. Search comes to mind,"
Wilson said.

"Twitter really should have had all of that when it launched, or it should have built those services right into the Twitter experience."

Williams warned that the time for developing applications that fill holes in Twitter's platform had passed, and that developers should now focus on areas such as social gaming, analytics and discovery.

He also encouraged developers to focus on applications for vertical markets, like the Stockwits application for finance, and for enterprise use.



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