Over the past few months we’ve seen visuals become a huge element of the social media space. From Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram to the rapid growth of Snapchat, there’s no denying that visual content is on the rise. Over the past year, even the text-based Twitter has started to make images a huge part of their interface and user experience.
Last summer Twitter introduced lead generation cards, which allow users to respond to marketing calls-to-action without leaving Twitter or filling out forms. Next, they introduced expanded images, which meant brands could break through the noise on user timelines by automatically expanding any tweets with images or cards.
Last week, Twitter made its new layout available to the public. Its sleek new design allows all Twitter accounts (brands and personal handles) to show more personality (and “human-ness”, as DJ Waldow would say) within the Twittersphere. But before you opt into the new profile, whether you’re using Twitter for your company account or personal brand, you’ll want to take note of these changes:
The most noticeable change in Twitter’s new layout is the increase in size of the header image. Header images now expand across your profile’s entire page, no longer confined to a small space at the top. The optimal size for the new header is 1500×500 and the maximum file size is 5MB. If you were using a much smaller size to accommodate the old format, you should consider resizing for best image quality.
This also means that your header image becomes the true focal point of your Twitter profile. Also, when you look at your list of followers, you’ll now see each user’s header image along with their profile image (see below). Last month I blogged about the hidden gems of social media real estate, and I would add the new header to that list. Think of your header image as a kind of business card – a place to express your personality, professional information, and more.
Twitter also updated their “pinned tweets” feature. Before this update, only brands could pin particular tweets to the top of their profiles, and they had to use the “Twitter ads” user interface to do so.
Now, anyone (brands and individual users) can simply choose a tweet they’d like to pin, click the three dots to the right of the garbage icon, and select “pin to your profile page” (see below). One note: you can only choose one tweet at a time, so choose wisely!
Filtered tweets are another addition to the new layout. Before last week’s release, only brand pages could be filtered by tweets and replies. Now these filters are available to personal accounts too. When looking at any profile, you can choose from the following timelines: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.
If you do look at the timeline from the “Tweets with photos/videos” view, you’ll see that this timeline has also been given a makeover. When you select that filter, you’ll be taken to a page showing each image/video uploaded along with the tweet.
Pop-Up Notifications for Web
Pop-up notifications are another new addition to the Twitter interface. When someone follows, mentions, retweets, favorites your tweets, or sends you a direct message, a notification will appear on the bottom right of your screen. Don’t want to receive these? You can turn these off or customize what you’d like to be notified about in your Twitter settings under “Web Notifications”.
Last but not least, the new profile makes certain tweets larger than others on your profile page – tweets with the most engagement (favorites and retweets) and tweets with accompanying media. This makes your best tweets easier to find and also makes any images or Vine videos stand out from the rest of your posts.
So those five changes cover the new update — what do you think? Are you a fan of the new layout and features? Were there any other features I missed? Drop a line in the comments below. And if you still haven’t changed your Twitter profile, you can do so here!