With an eye on new users, Twitter set to revamp iOS app

Twitter will create streams of content for photos, videos and television, among others

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 16, 2013
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With Twitter's IPO now in sight, the social network needs to not only increase revenue but its userbase as well. And that is doubly important when it comes to mobile, which is key for investors having confidence the company's ability to make money in the long term.

So Twitter is all set to do a major overhaul of its mobile apps on iOS, according to a report from AllThingsD on Monday. 

That apparently means that the company will be getting rid of the four main buttons that now appear at the bottom of the screen: Home, Connect, Discover, and Me. These will, instead, be replaced by "different content-focused streams" that users can swipe through.

That will include a stream that looks like the main Twitter homepage, one that is only for photos, one for videos, and one for interactions and conversations. The idea is to put a bigger emphasis on multimedia, sources said.

Interestingly, there will also be a stream that is dedicated to television-relation tweets and conversations. For those paying attention to Twitter's recent activity, nothing TV related should be a surprise.

The company has gone out of its way to prove that tweets can actually lead to higher television ratings, and it has also created tv ad targeting software, in order to help advertisers capitalize on that increased engagement.

That tv ad targeting software, which it premiered in beta mode in May, and then expanded to to all U.S. advertisers that run national television spots in July.

The technology allows advertisers to engage directly with people on Twitter who have been exposed to their ads on live television. 

It works by identifying Tweets that correspond with that television show. Because the person was engaged enough to tweet about it, the company figures that they watched the ads as well (which, in all honesty, is a bit of a leap. It is more likely they were sending the tweets in question while the ads were playing). Twitter will then push out promoted tweets that extend those advertisements.

Most recently, Twitter purchased real-time TV data company Trendrr. Curatorr, Trendrr's Twitter certified product, will work with media companies, marketers, and display ecosystem partners to create user experiences.

With its new iOS app, Twitter absolutely has it in mind to lure in new users and appeal to a wider audience. But Twitter also still has its eye on the revenue side of the equation; a stream dedicated solely to tweets about TV should absolutely interest TV advertisers looking to exploit Twitter's ability to increase their ratings.

The new app should debut soon; sources told AllThingsD that the company is waiting for Apple to release iOS 7 on Wednesday.

"We don't have anything to share at this time," a Twitter spokesperson told VatorNews.

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