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Twitter Homepage Adds Sampling of Tweets to Lure Unregistered Users

Twitter
Damien Meyer | AFP | Getty Images

Twitter.com has a new look.

The social network officially launched a new version of its homepage on Wednesday, one that includes a handful of different Twitter categories that lead users to streams of tweets without needing to sign in to an account.

The idea here is that Twitter is missing out on a slew of potential users. Roughly 125 million people visit Twitter.com every month without signing in. That's a substantial number considering the company's entire user base is 288 million people per month.

Until now, those 125 million have been greeted at Twitter.com with nothing but a single image and a sign-up box. Now, they'll see actual tweets from actual users, and Twitter hopes they'll be intrigued enough to look around. If all goes according to plan, these visitors will create accounts at some point, too.

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Twitter has been testing this homepage for a few months — we first wrote about the test back in February. So it's no surprise that Twitter is thinking of new ways to get its content in front of more people, particularly those without accounts. The company has dealt with slow growth in the past, and this is another way to lure people in.

There's another benefit for Twitter beyond the desire for more users, though: Increased impressions.

The social network recently started using total impressions instead of total users or even total tweets to measure its size. This is because Twitter argues that tons of people see tweets — on TV and within apps or other websites — and those people may or may not have an account. (In fact, they likely don't.)

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So Twitter is now reporting how many people see tweets, and adding content to the homepage should boost that number. Twitter recently started monetizing this logged-out audience, and while it won't have ads on its homepage at launch, it's possible they may be included down the road.

The new page will be available to U.S. users Wednesday, and while the company has plans to expand into other regions and languages, there is no timeline in place.

By Kurt Wagner, Re/code.net.

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