Twitter has unveiled sweeping new changes to the social network in the biggest shake-up of the site since its launch.
The fresh design, launched with the name Fly Twitter, will be introduced to the social network's 100 million users in the coming weeks, but new iPhone, Android and TweetDeck apps were released on Thursday.
The new site features redesigned profile pages, and is based around four key areas: Home; Connect; Discover; and Me. Twitter said one of the most significant introductions was its Discover page, which features trending topics and popular discussions from around the web. The Connect tab is home to users' mentions, retweets and new followers.
In a blogpost on Twitter's official website, the fledgling internet firm said the changes are "just the beginning". Twitter has faced a resurgent competition in recent weeks, with Facebook and Google+ both grappling for users' time and attention with a slew of new features.
"Today we introduce a new version of Twitter. We've simplified the design to make it easier than ever to follow what you care about, connect with others and discover something new," Twitter said in the blogpost.
"What we're announcing today is just the beginning. We now have a framework in place that we will quickly build and iterate upon to help users connect with whatever is meaningful to them."
Twitter also introduced slick new brand pages – distinctive, for the first time, from users' profile pages – featuring adverts and promoted tweets. The 140-character network has lagged behind Facebook as a tool for brands, with only basic user functionality available to some of the world's largest big-name companies. Google's new social network, Google+,launched its version of brand pages last month.
Disney Pixar's brand page on Twitter
Unlike user pages, brands can customise their page with a large header image and choose to feature a tweet with a photo or YouTube video. Launch partners for the new pages include American Express, Best Buy,McDonalds, and Pepsi.
Although Twitter users have grown accustomed to the site's many changes and updates, Thursday's redesign is the biggest since chief executive Dick Costolo laid down the company's vision in March this year. "Our mission is to instantly connect people everywhere to what's most meaningful to them," he said.
The shake-up aims to make it easier for users to interact with those they follow, while allowing them to more easily connect with information that often spreads like wildfire across the site.