Twitter has unveiled the latest version of its home page, and unlike previous revisions, which have been minor tweaks, this is a huge, potentially game-changing overhaul. New Twitter splits the home page in half. So on the left hand side is a person's tweets as is the case now. The other side however features a range of options including replies, more tweets from the same user, a map showing where the tweet was sent from, or embedded media.
The smart bit is that you can see the images/video they have added. This is potentially very good news for brands. One issue that has caused problems for brands and customer publishers in particular is driving users to watch branded content on video sites like YouTube and Vimeo. By being able to embed a video next to a tweet it will make it much easier for consumers to watch thereby significantly increasing exposure to branded video.
From Twitter's perspective the move makes it easier to monetise the services, especially if the company chooses to add video (for example film trailers) in the second stream.
There has been some discussion on blogs and news sites already today as to whether new Twitter will steal users from third party Twitter apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. I think this is unlikely - certainly for anyone using those services on behalf of a brand or publisher. The services they offer - such as the ability to control multiple Twitter channels - mean that they will still have an important role to play.