Today’s guest post is written by Matt LaCasse.

As you are likely aware by now, Twitter rolled out a major redesign and announced brand pages simultaneously.

While the brand pages announcement is by far the most exciting part of this, we’ll have to wait to see their full implementation since they’re available only to mega-brands at the moment.

You may remember Twitter purchased TweetDeck earlier this year, and at the time there was much hand-wringing over what Twitter would do with its new toy. Theories ran the gamut from a complete shutdown to a shelving of the popular third-party service.

Then, the redesign happened and we have an answer to the question of what Twitter will do with TweetDeck.

The answer?

Harness that team’s ingenuity into making the Twitter site and mobile apps a real choice for power users. The designs are strikingly similar; from the “compose” button all the way down to the fonts, the TweetDeck team’s fingerprints are all over this.

For the longest time, many people (I among them) argued the worst part about Twitter was its own webpage and its mobile apps. When Twitter purchased TweetDeck in May for the low, low price of just $40 million, functionality was a big reason I thought they were making the move. After all, Twitter’s functionality was a reason many used services like TweetDeck; and many still do.

The gap is getting smaller though, and I’ll predict that within the next year, TweetDeck will simply be known as either Twitter web or desktop app. It’s all the same company now, so TweetDeck shouldn’t care about what it’s being called and Twitter SHOULD want to have its name all over power-users’ preferred app.

A few other things I’ve noticed:

  1. Your Real Name Matters. Rather than your username, Twitter displays the name you’ve given them as the prominent identifying text. That’s bad news for spammers, because they just got even MORE obvious. It’s fantastic news for those whose name is their brand. Freelancers really benefit here.
  2. Twitter Is Going After 3rd Party Apps. Seesmic, HootSuite, and other popular third-party apps have been put on notice by this redesign. What Twitter did isn’t all that different than what the Angels did in signing Albert Pujols. Twitter picked up the big free agent name to help them win, and that free agent just smacked a huge home run.
  3. Twitter Is Morphing Into A News Aggregation Site. I’d love to say I thought of this, but the good folks at Poynter thought it first. I’ll paraphrase here, but I encourage you to click through and read that article. The new “discover” section is huge. It’s a personalized newswire and what you tweet is much more important now because each tweet is embedable. Tweet with care and compose those in a way that encourage people to use them on their blogs and elsewhere.

What about you? What do you think of the redesign? Love it? Like it? Hate it? Think I’m off  my rocker? Let’s hear it in the comments.

Matt LaCasse believes that finding the methods and channels customers and audiences use, and engaging with them in their comfort zone, is the key to effectively communicating with those groups on behalf of clients. He does social media management for KimberMedia and teaches at @bgckids. He is a husband and Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs fan. He may, or may not, use humor as a defensive mechanism. He also blogs.

*This is a modified version of a post that originally ran on Matt’s blog.