Are You Ready for Your New Twitter Profile?

bloomfield knoble helps companies make the best of changes like these.
Trying to figure out how to make the best use out of new features like Twitter’s wider header image?

On Facebook, each of your friends has most likely visited your profile page once – when trying to decide to Friend you or not. If it’s an ex, the frequency is greater – obviously in an attempt to see who you’re dating now to make sure you’ve moved on and are happy hoping to God that it’s a downgrade from themselves.

On Twitter, odds are nobody but you has ever visited your profile. But nonetheless, Twitter has updated its profile page – visually and functionally. Are you ready? You have until the mandatory switchover on May 28 to update the profile header image.

One of the things we focus on at bloomfield knoble, inc. is making sure our clients are always the prettiest girl at the dance. Keeping up with changes like this is part and parcel of that job.

Here’s what’s changed and some tips on making the most out of the new changes:

  • Larger profile photos. They’re now 400 pixels by 400 pixels, the same aspect ratio as before but with larger dimensions.
  • Customizable header image. This main image spans the browser, and users are encouraged to upload a 1500 pixel by 500 pixel image. Your current header image might fit, but the bigger scale might make it look a little fuzzy. Note that there are vast differences between how the images appear on mobile devices and desktops, so check all your devices before locking in on your image.
  • Best tweets. Your tweets with the most engagement will appear in a larger text size inside your stream.
  • Pinned tweet. You can now pin one of your favorite tweets to the top of your profile page. A very Facebook move.
  • Filtered views. When visiting someone else’s profile, you can choose how to view their tweets: tweets only, tweets plus replies, or tweets with photos or videos.
  • There’s also now a Pinterest-style grid view of your followers, who you’re following, and your visual content.

This is all a move to make what you see when you log into Twitter more visually appealing. Personally, I find the larger text for more popular tweets handy, after at first being confused by it. The new aspect ratio of the profile header seems prohibitive, but with a little effort, having a picture that works in that space is fairly stunning.

To make the most of these changes, get more visual. It’s long been known that posts with images get more Retweets, and that trend is likely to continue with this more visual redesign. Users have easier access to your visual content (if they visit your profile), so keep on being visual – photos, infographics, charts, whatever helps convey your point and stands out.

Be aware that there’s also easier access for visitors to view your Favorites. How have you been using that feature? Bookmark? The equivalent of a Facebook “Like”? A way to communicate to your followers that this is worthy of attention but not worthy of a Retweet? It seems like everyone uses it differently. Now it’s easier for others to see what you’ve favorited, so be sure you’re making the best use out of the feature.

But mainly, it’s the header image. The much wider aspect ratio completely changes how your header image is presented. As you play around with it, you’ll discover that many images that look like they’d work great (and particularly those that worked before) absolutely do not. But through trial and error you’ll find the right one.

One more fairly minor, unannounced change, is that he background image that used to appear behind your newsfeed is gone. It’s still visible in areas of your profile only accessible to you, but third party users who visit your profile no longer see that image. It will probably be phased out altogether in a future update.

If you manage a page for a business, keeping up with these changes is critical. If you’re just a personal Tweeter, hopefully this information will help you engage more friends … and finally get a RT from that celebrity you’ve been @ mentioning all these years.

At bk, we’ve helped companies ranging from mom and pop shops to Fortune 10 organizations build social presences that have shaped their business and public perception. Part of that is staying on top of trends, updates and changes in the industry.