San Francisco - Twitter is testing a redesign of its profile pages that mimics the look of Facebook’s timelines, part of the microblogging service’s effort to boost engagement as user growth slows.

The new design, which is showing up for a small set of users, includes a wide background photo across the top of the page and a smaller profile picture on the left-hand side, similar to member pages on Facebook’s rival social network.

Some postings are displayed more prominently and in bolder type.

Twitter, with 241 million users compared with Facebook’s 1.2 billion, has said that changes to its product this year will help woo more people to adopt and stick with the service.

The company is aiming to make the site easier to use, favouring designs that feature images and experimenting with showing content based on topics, which may help newer users understand the service better than they can with chronological displays.

In December, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that San Francisco-based Twitter might redesign its profile pages to highlight more useful content.

At the time, the person said the company might make users’ most popular posts more prominent, instead of displaying the most recent bit of a conversation.

Christina Thiry, a Twitter spokeswoman, declined to comment.

The website Mashable earlier yesterday reported Twitter’s latest test of the new pages. - Bloomberg News