By Duleepa Wijayawardhana • November 26, 2010

Freedom To Buy

Welcome all to the new Empire Avenue.

The Twitter Index

Yes, we've rolled out the ability for you to go buy any Twitter account in the world, so you can show your support for your favorite companies, friends, celebs – anyone! Simply go to the Twitter Index, see how you stack up against your friends, type in the name of a Twitter account, and, well, buy some shares. Now, we are in the process of grabbing as many public profiles on Twitter as possible, but if we don't have one indexed right now, go ahead and add it!

Some ground rules:

* Yes, these Twitter accounts do in fact pay dividends. They’re just lower than what they would be if that person has an account on Empire Avenue.

* Yes, as more people buy, just like with the rest of the site, Share Prices will increase.

* If you claim an account, your share price will get moved over where possible (we won't lower an existing share price) and your shares moved with it.

* You will get notifications of accounts being claimed when someone joins! Existing users should check the level of notification for this in their notification settings.

* Lastly, the Network Scores and Share Prices are estimates. Until you join we cannot know your full engagement in any network!

The User Interface and Core Site Changes

You might also note that we have updated the entire User Interface and changed our home page! The site now better matches what we’ve been slowly morphing into and the future direction of Empire Avenue. If you are curious about our site vision, something we'll talk more about in coming weeks, the Empire Avenue "About" page lays it out pretty clearly. For most of our users who have been with us as Friends and Family since February/March, this is probably not a shocker, but our product is much more focused now. A startup is on a journey, as I once heard explained. That journey is to find our vision, our purpose in life, our business model, our customer model and, certainly, our own sense of self.

The user interface has been overhauled to give access to the key elements necessary to play the Empire Avenue game and connect with people, quickly and with accuracy. This involved removing a lot of "dead" space on each page of the site. While this is probably a change for old users, it is designed to make the overall experience on Empire Avenue easier to understand and more efficient. Nothing is perfect, of course, so we'll work on it. And as always, your feedback is helpful and very much appreciated.

And while we’re out here announcing new features, you can now have 12-character Tickers. Yes folks... you can change your Ticker in the Shop. Remember, successive changes will start increasing the cost of changing your Ticker, so pick one you like!

Why didn’t we make a big announcement?

Several people on the site and on Twitter have asked why we decided not to announce these changes this week, unlike all other changes that we have announced before they happened. All aspects of our current changes were in flux and were being derailed until the very last minute. Adding something like the Twitter Index takes a very special amount of effort and perfect alignment of the technical stars (whatever those are). Hey, we even have people like Support @ Twitter to thank for helping make it all live in time for Black Friday.

We hope you enjoy investing in and showing your support for your favorite people and brands! We couldn’t have made it here without every single one of you, and we hope you’ll be with us as we embark on this new chapter in Empire Avenue’s life!

Disclaimer: Our owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on this blog is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.