Twitter has announced major changes to its user interface, with the micro-blogging platform now moving to a two panel look which can show more contextual information about the tweets.

That second panel of information includes being able to do things like see tweeted pictures and videos and extend the 'promoted tweets' bought by companies and that show up when a person taps in key words or search for certain things.

"You can now take a simple short tweet and get more context and information in less time," Twitter co-founder and chief executive Evan Williams told BBC News.

Buried treasure

"We liked the old Twitter but we thought we could make it better. There was a lot buried underneath Twitter and now we are bringing all of that to the surface," he added.

The extra imagery will be boosted by deals with 16 photo and video sites, including YouTube and Flickr.

The new format will be rolled out in the coming weeks, and the early hum about the change has been a positive one.

The changes are outlined on a special page at http://twitter.com/newtwitter and include a note on the new design that explains: "You will now find @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists just above your timeline – creating a single, streamlined view on the left of the screen.

"On the right, you can see the features you're familiar with, including whom you recently followed and who recently followed you, favorites, and Trending Topics."

Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the public tasting, and it remains to be seen if Twitter's major overhaul can allow it to maintain its publicity.

Via Twitter and BBC