(Updates with comment from CEO in third paragraph.)
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc., the microblogging service that lets people send 140-character messages, redesigned the site to make it faster and simpler to navigate.
The service will feature tabs at the top of the screen that let users more easily access their home pages, connect with others and discover new content, Twitter said today at an event in San Francisco. The updated site will be available to all users in the next few weeks.
“As other services tack feature after feature after feature on top of each other, we’re going to go in an entirely different direction and offer simplicity in a world of complexity,” Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said. “This new Twitter is really a foundation for us.”
Twitter is enhancing the service to win over more users and make the site more attractive to advertisers. The company has been coping with executive turnover and a slow rollout of its ad program, which promises to be its main source of revenue. Co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have lessened their involvement under Costolo, who took the reins in October 2010. Mike Abbott, a vice president in charge of engineering, also has stepped down.
Stone and Williams are concentrating on a startup incubator called Obvious Corp., leaving Twitter without the full attention of any of its creators. Co-founder Jack Dorsey divides his time between Twitter and mobile-payment company Square Inc.
As part of the upgrades, Twitter’s Timeline feature will be 500 percent faster than three or four months ago. The Timeline provides a scrolling list of messages, putting the most recent posts at the top. Users’ profile sections also will redesigned.
Twitter will generate $139.5 million this year from ads, according to EMarketer Inc. The research firm pared its estimate from $150 million in September because Twitter has been slow to roll out some services.
Twitter, based in San Francisco, will see ads surge in coming years, especially as it attracts more international advertisers, EMarketer said. Twitter may bring in $259.9 million in ad revenue in 2012, up 86 percent from 2011, the firm estimates. International ad sales will make up 10 percent of the total in 2012, up from 4 percent this year.
--Editors: Nick Turner, Jillian Ward
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