New Twitter Profile Is For Everyone – Like It Or Not

So, Twitter’s announced that whether users like it or not, everyone’s going to have the new Twitter profile by May 28th.

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This major layout change was announced sometime early last month, and was rolled out for new users, and some existing users as well.

The reactions have been pretty mixed so far, but not everyone is happy with the oddly “Facebook-esque” new design.

Here are the basic changes:

  • Bigger – All the main page elements are bigger, even Tweets – with more popular Tweets being bigger than less popular ones. If you’re a new user, then all your Tweets will be big until you get more followers/retweets. Now your Twitter profile will be less text-heavy, but arguably more overwhelming for new users.
  • New default avatar - Last time, the default profile picture was an egg. Now, it’s a silhouette (that again looks remarkably like Facebook’s default profile image).
  • Following list - Instead of the old list, you get a screen full of Pinterest-like cards showing off the profile image, description and header image for each person you follow.
  • Tweets – besides the fact that now popular Tweets will be bigger, now users have the option to “pin” a Tweet to their profile page, which everyone will see on the top right.
  • Images - Photos and pictures posted to Twitter feeds will be bigger, instead of the old style where you had to expand to view the pic (which would usually be posted as a link if it was too big).

Of course, there are more, but you’ll probably come across those as you go along.

While regular Twitter users are moaning and whining about the change – because really, if people wanted to be on Facebook, they’d just open a Facebook account, right? – some brands have already stepped up to the challenge and have started experimenting with the new layout.

Here’s how you can make the best of Twitter’s new layout:

  • New header image/profile pic

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If your brand was already on Twitter, unfortunately that beautiful profile image that you designed previously isn’t going to cut it any more. The dimensions have changed, and the first thing you should do is redesign and resize your header photo and your profile image (which is now justified to the left).

If you’re just getting started on Twitter… you’re still going to have to design a header image for your account, to take advantage of all that space Twitter’s given you.

Remember that the header image/profile image you design needs to be designed so that it can be viewed well on both mobile and desktop screens, as well as Twitter’s new Following list.

  • Background image

Twitter users now have better control over the background image and its elements, because now you have the flexibility to align the image.

This allows brands to make use of both the right and left side of the background image to display rich, engaging content.

  • Focus on content.

Users can choose what type of content they want to see in their feeds, which existed before, but now allows you to focus on Tweets, Photos/Videos, Following/Followers and Favorites.

Brands should be aware: If you favorite your own posts, it will show up here as duplicate content, and your followers will look down their collective noses at you because you don’t go out there and favorite other people’s content.

But depending on the type of content you want to focus on, this could be a good thing. For example, check out Skype’s Photos/Videos feed:

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  • Pinned Tweets

This works just like Facebook’s pinned posts, allowing you to pin a Tweet to the top right of your profile page, making it easier for people to notice and see what you’re about.

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It would be better if this came with scheduling abilities – because it would be all too easy to forget that you have old content pinned. However, right now it doesn’t… but you can still use the feature to show off your best Tweets or draw your followers’ attention.

For example… if you’re running a hashtag campaign, pin a Tweet to let your followers know what hashtag to use.

However, be aware that pinned Tweets work better for those who use Twitter from their desktops, and the experience will be different when viewing pinned Tweets on mobile.

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