By Michael Solms
Twitter’s new profile design is here, and while many were anxious to see its new face, the end result looks somewhat familiar. Most of the buzz surrounding the new layout has been about its striking resemblance to Facebook user profiles, but several new features provide much-needed improvement to the Twitter experience. Here’s an in-depth review.
Profile and Header Images
One of the more obvious changes is the new design features a larger profile photo and customizable header image—just like Facebook and Google+. The larger profile photo is still a square image, but it now appears near the top left of your profile instead of the center, and it overlaps with the header image. Twitter recommends using a 400-by-400-pixel profile photo, but you have the option to crop a larger image during the upload process. Below your profile photo, users will find basic information about you, including a brief description, location, a website link, and clickable thumbnails of photos and videos.
The new header image will definitely catch the eye of anyone who visits your profile, as it spans the full width of the page. To take advantage of this area, simply click on the header space to upload your image. You’ll want a 1,500-by-500-pixel background image; and just like other social media sites, Twitter allows you to scale and move the picture to find the most desired positioning. You can now also edit photos or adjust your profile theme and colors in real time instead of having to go to your profile settings.
The overlapping of the profile image and background header enables you to get creative in making these graphics work together. (If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these 13 eye-catching examples of Twitter's new header images.) Overall, the layout of the profile and header images is definitely similar to Facebook, but the full-width header sets Twitter apart, making its profile pages more visual and giving users a larger canvas to get creative.
In addition to the larger visual elements, there are new features that allow you to show off your top Tweets and enable visitors to easily filter through all the information on your Twitter timeline. Your best Tweets—those that receive the most engagement from followers—now appear larger than the rest. In fact, the font sizes for your most popular posts are nearly double the size of your standard Tweets. This makes your best content easier to find and prevents it from getting buried among other posts.
You can also “amplify your awesomeness,” as Twitter puts it, by pinning one of your Tweets to the top of your page so it can be viewed easily by your followers. This helps promote and spark conversations with your followers regarding specific Tweets and topics that are important to you. For example, as a self-storage business, you may want to “pin” a new promotion or the opening of a new location. Pinned Tweets can be switched out at any time. Although the terminology is different, the act of pinning a Tweet is similar to a function Facebook has, which allows users to highlight a post and have it appear larger and at the top of their Facebook timelines.
Another useful new feature is the ability to filter all Tweets in one seamless timeline. When visitors check out your profile page, they can filter your content by Tweets, Photos/Videos, Following, Followers and Favorites, as well as by Tweets and Replies, which displays conversations visible on your page. The filter menu appears just below the header image.