Twitter execs said their main motivation for doing a redesign of Twitter.com, which they unveiled Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, was to improve the user experience – to make Twitter “faster, easier, richer, more efficient to use,” as Biz Stone (right) put it. Monetization was so low on the list of design objectives that execs said they hadn’t even shown the new site to advertisers before yesterday’s launch. But, in an interview with WebNewser, Stone said he thinks the new design does offer the possibility for “new revenue-generating opportunities.” “The fact that you can click on any tweet that interests you and see even more information lends itself to advertising and revenue opportunities of promoted tweets and and so forth,” he told us.
After the jump, Stone tells us more about those monetization opportunities, why he’d prefer people not spend all that much time on Twitter, and why he thinks the redesign will nevertheless produce more users. Also: Complete screenshots of the new design.
WebNewser: How does this redesign set Twitter up to become a profitable product?
Stone: I don’t think the redesign fundamentally changes the way we’re going after profit. The redesign is aimed at making a better experience for users. It just so happens that a better experience for users on Twitter is a better experience for advertisers because our native ad units are tweets and trends and things like that. This design was not motivated by any kind revenue-generating opportunities. But. I think that there will be more. The fact that you can click on any tweet that interests you and see even more information lends itself to advertising and revenue opportunities of promoted tweets and so forth…. You can see the potential there. The detail pane is real estate that’s just waiting for creativity.
How does the world change for Twitter as a result of this redesign?
My ideal outcome for the world is that you don’t actually have to spend as much time on Twitter…. Let’s get the information we need, at the time we need, where we need it to make a decision or to change an action for the day and then move on. Like, I’m at Trader Joe’s. [I want to know:] What’s going on? Is there anything around me that’s worth doing, or a deal [I can take advanatage of], or something going on in the world I should know about?
How does it change the world for Twitter? … [I]t’s the first step in saving more time for people. As [Twitter CEO] Ev [Williams (above, left)] was saying, in a world of infinite information, what we’re aspiring towards is an antidote to that overflow of information: How can we get the relevant information to you quickly so you can get it and move on with your day?
What kinds of hard metrics do you want to see six months, a year from now?
Obviously we want to see more users. Obviously we want to foster growth. That’s independent of the redesign. But hopefully the redesign makes Twitter more appealing, and therefore more people will come and use Twitter. It doesn’t mean they’ll sign up for Twitter, although I have a pet theory that the more people who consume Twitter and get involved in information are going to want to react and therefore they’re going to want to sign up for an account so they can tweet. So it ends up being self-fulfilling.