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Twitter announces new changes to enhance service

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SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Twitter on Thursday began rolling out overhauled pages crafted to boost the appeal of the message-sharing service to worldwide users.

“At the very core there are fewer places you have to click and less you have to learn,” Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said as he and other executives unveiled the changes at the flourishing startup’s new San Francisco offices.

“We’ve done a lot of user testing and it has proven to be much simpler,” he added.

Overhauled navigation features take advantage of the fact that Twitter symbols such as @ and # are making their way into common culture, showing up anywhere from text messages to advertising billboards and television.

Twitter designed Connect navigation tools that essentially turn those symbols into new age URLs, web addresses, to let people find all posts or other information being fired off about topics.

“The @ symbol has become the new URL; the fastest way to connect with anyone in the world,” Dorsey said.

Twitter is also expanding profile pages, letting users tell more about themselves or, in the case of companies, their brands.

Dorsey said that revenue from “promoted tweet” style ads has been steadily growing and the startup is testing a self-service advertising system that should launch early next year.

The overhaul includes a new Timeline that brings together all Twitter chatter or content related to a particular “tweet,” or succinct text message of no more than 140 characters.

“There is a universe within every tweet,” said Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo. “The 140 characters are a caption associated with a rich canvas that could be a song, a video, a photo or more.”

The new Twitter design was described as a platform on which the service will build to reinforce its effort to “reach every person on the planet.”

“Of course tweeting is still front and center,” Dorsey said. “Any time you have something to tell the world you can do it instantly.”

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