If you spend any time on Twitter you may have noticed a shift to a new look in the past couple of weeks. Twitter has embraced a “header” design similar to the Timeline design on Facebook. The new look is designed to look better on mobile devices, and opens up new possibilities for customization. This creates a new challenge for brands, who now must have three branded, coordinating photos to represent their brands on the new design. As of right now, there is still the option to maintain your old profile, however, if you want to stay in tune with the times, it is advisable to do the switch. Here's how.
1. Login to your Twitter account. Find the icon for the drop down menu to the right above your Twitter feed. Click the icon and select “Settings” from the drop down menu.
2. Once you are in your Settings screen, choose “Design” from the menu on the upper left side of the page. Now scroll down to the “Customize Your Own” section.
3. This is where you get to play and see which images best suit your brand needs. The options on this screen will change your background and cover photo. It takes some trial and error at first to see how the cover photos mesh with the avatar, since they are one on top of the other. Be mindful when uploading images that the file size meets the recommended sizes and dimensions:
Header: 1200 x 600, with a maximum file size of 5 MB
Background: Maximum file size of 800K
If you want to switch out your avatar, you will need to revisit the settings menu in the upper left, this time clicking on “Profile”.
It should be noted that the avatar is now placed smack in the middle of the header, or “cover” image. This can be tricky. Be sure to keep this in mind as you decide on a cover image, since placement of object will be extra important so as not to cover them with the avatar.
Once you've selected the images that work, be sure to click the blue “Save” button on the bottom of the page.
The update is a testimony to two current trends in social media: mobile and photographs. We know photographs are essential in driving engagement in social media communities and that the habit of engaging with social media on mobile devices is exponentially increasing. Twitter is on the right path for catering to the evolving needs of their users. It will be interesting to see if the focus on images as content will be increasingly applicable to Twitter as they shift into the new design.