May 22 2014

Exploring the New Twitter Profile

Recently, Twitter unveiled all-new web profiles to the public. Reminiscent of Facebook's layout, Twitter's updated profile design puts you and your brand in the forefront with an increased visual appeal. In line with the popularity of images on social media, there's a much larger profile picture and a more expansive background image. Additionally, the latest Twitter profile offers some other notable enhancements. Let's see what's exciting and new with the Twitter profile.

Sizing Matters: Tech Specs
Profile Photo: 400 x400 (scales down to 240 x 240) pixels
Header Photo: 1500 x 500 pixels

While the header photo is formatted 1500 pixels by 500 pixels, the menu bar and tabs below your cover photo crops off 140 pixels in height. So, to make sure nothing vital such as wording or branding is cut off from your header photo, give yourself about 70 pixels of buffer on the top and bottom of your header photo. Built with responsive design, the new Twitter profile's header photo loses 240 pixels on the left side and right side when viewing on mobile devices. To optimize for both desktop and mobile viewers, focus on the 1020 pixels that go across horizontally in the middle of the image. For optimal results, upload images of the highest quality with little or no compression without any unnecessary colors or gradients.

ZAG Interactive tip: Do a flat layout of all of your imagery ahead of uploading to Twitter so you can ensure that everything looks just how you’d like it to look across all devices.

An Enduring Image: Profile Photo
Your profile photo is an integral component of your new Twitter profile, as this artwork will accompany your tweets when viewed on other users’ timelines. It should convey trust and personality, which is why people often use headshots, while companies typically use their brand logos or icons for their profile photos. You can get creative with your profile picture, but make sure that it is symbolic of you or your company in this squared-up visual real estate. While the former profile pic used to be 256 x 256 pixels, the new Twitter profile photo is 400 x 400 pixels. If you do nothing at all to update your Twitter profile photo, it will automatically resize your current profile photo to fit its new dimensions.

ZAG Interactive tip: Since you’re likely going to change your header photo in the background of your new Twitter profile, you might as well replace your profile photo to establish a unified, branded experience.

Much More Than Wallpaper: Header Photo
The most profound change that comes with the new Twitter profile is the expansive header photo. Continuing the trend of social media homogenization, Twitter’s large header photo appears to be influenced by Facebook’s panoramic-style cover photos. Whereas the wallpaper was more of a latent design element before, the new Twitter profile embraces this header photo with a generously-sized live area of 1500 x 500 pixels. You and your company can use the header photo to extend your brand with full-color graphics and photography complemented by taglines or positioning statements.

ZAG Interactive tip: Savvy marketers should seize the opportunity to leverage the header photo to communicate contact information or promote offerings with appropriate calls-to-action. For optimal results, make sure that you use a high-resolution image for your new Twitter background. The large-scale header photo gives you and your company prime real estate for a branded experience or a promotional banner on the new Twitter profile.

Focusing on Visuals: Photos/Videos
Centering on visual content, the new Twitter profile bubbles up the accessible number of photos and videos tweeted from your account right under your header image. This addition is another move forward for Twitter to put more of an onus on sticky social media content. In fact, when you click on a video link in a tweet, the video will play within the new Twitter profile, rather than opening up a third-party video source. Upon clicking the prominent “Photos/Videos” tab, the Twitter interface presents the photos and videos cleanly and clearly in rectangular modules. Now that this content will be made more accessible from your Twitter profile, you and your company may wish to be more strategic about which images and videos that you post on Twitter.

ZAG Interactive tip: To best represent your company, think about linking to your own branded images and videos and sharing those from other high-quality sources.

Starring Quality Tweets: Favorites

The Favorites tab is a mainstay of Twitter, but its placement is now more pronounced on the new Twitter profile. Previously buried on the left-hand rail, the Favorites tab is now prominently featured under the header photo alongside Followers and the rest of the major Twitter totals. This extra emphasis might make you or your brand a little more selective in choosing which tweets you’d like to add to your Favorites. In the past, the Favorites functionality was often used to bookmark tweets for future reference.

ZAG Interactive tip: Now that all Twitter users will find it even easier to see what you’ve favorited, strategic marketers may reserve the favorites more for media hits and thought-leader mentions. The Favorites tab on the new Twitter profile is more about sharing knowledge than archiving tweets.

Put a Pin in It: Pinned Tweet
Another blatant nod to Facebook functionality, the pinned tweet allows you to stick one of your tweets to the top of your new Twitter profile, where it will remain for all to see until you unpin it or replace with another pinned tweet. As following the high-speed nature of the Twitter timeline can often feel like driving by billboards on a highway, the pinned tweet allows followers to stop by your Twitter profile and absorb your selected message.Now you and your company can strategically decide which tweet best represents your brand at any given time -- a brand-new tweet or one from your Twitter archives. The pinned tweet will be appended to the top of the new Twitter profile for maximum impressions, so choose carefully.

ZAG Interactive tip: To meet business objectives, the pinned tweet can drive to a timely press release, special promotion, product announcement or event sign-up. The new Twitter profile allows smart marketers more visibility for their most important posts utilizing the pinned tweet.

Best Leveraging Twitter’s Changes: A Profile in Branding
The new Twitter profile provides opportunities for you and your company to better represent your brand. You can design your profile photo and header photo to work together for a strong and cohesive branded experience. While updating to the new Twitter profile, take the time to make sure that your username is indicative and that your bio is descriptive, too. Go beyond 140 characters of text by including photos and videos in your tweets, as that is now a point of emphasis. Think twice about which tweets deserve to be favorited, as those are more visible on the new Twitter profile, as well. Plan your pinned tweets to feature the best posts from the past, as well as forthcoming key communications that you do not want your followers to miss. Featuring new functionality and highlighting visual content, the new Twitter profile keeps pace with the current demands of social media marketing.

 

  • Branding
  • Social Media

posted by
Christopher Rinaldi
Christopher Rinaldi

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide.