Twitter's long mooted new home page has finally been rolled out – and, as expected, it is a search engine that now lies at the heart of the micro-blogging phenomenon's opening gambit.

Twitter's explosive rise has been well reported, but the look and feel of the service has remained largely unchanged for some time.

Now, Twitter has integrated the twitter search tool into the sign up screen that has previously been much harder to find.

This is to allow those who arrive at the sign-up page the chance to actually quickly get a glimpse of what Twitter's all about before taking the plunge and joining the service.

Folks who are new

"Today we're trying a redesigned front page for folks who are new to Twitter.com," says Twitter's blog.

" If you're a regular around these parts, then you won't notice the new look unless you sign out of your account.

"Helping people access Twitter in more relevant and useful ways upon first introduction lowers the barrier to accessing the value Twitter has to offer and presents the service more consistently with how it has evolved."

So, for those of you who aren't yet on Twitter, you should find the sign up page more friendly and functional. If there's anyone who hasn't already signed up of course.

We've put a picture of the old page in for nostalgia's sake.

Twitter: tweeting it old skool