Twitter previews major redesign, new features

ABOVE: A Twitter promotion clip for its redesign.

Twitter has today unveiled a major redesign, and new features, due to roll out before the end of the year.

The aim of the exercise is to simplify the social network, the company says, and make it easier for novice users to find information without knowing Twitter jargon like "hashtag" and "@" handles.

Location-based information will also feature heavily in the new version of Twitter. The social network will "let people discover information" about their location. Profile pages will also be expanded, and it will be easier to follow others' activity. The web, iPhone and Android versions of Twitter will be included in the overhaul.

Observers see Twitter looking to expand its appeal, and create new opportunities for advertisers.

Given its claimed 100 million users, privately Twitter's advertising revenue will be a relatively modest $145 million this year, according to one report, up from $40 million last year.

Founder Jack Dorsey recently returned to the company, which has a private equity valuation of $US8billion, and is thought to be behind the renewed push to monetise the social network.

Mr Dorsey summed up the redesign as, “Less [sic] places to click, less stuff to learn.”

Currently, around 40% of Twitter users are "lurkers," never posting a tweet, Mr Dorsey said.

Mr Dorsey is now dividing his time between Twitter, and his mobile payment start-up Square.

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Square is the thing I'm interested in! Need one in New Zealand.. Merchant facilities are far too expensive!

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