It’s been over a month since Twitter began rolling out its new design for its profile pages to all users.
By now, you’ve probably made the switch, or at least checked out the preview. And if not, you’ll be required to make the leap soon – it will be mandatory on May 28th.
If you haven’t given any thought to the new Twitter profile yet, now might be a good time to start.
Hey, sometimes embracing change is good.
I’ve pulled together a short guide to what’s changed and shared 5 tips to help you get the most out of Twitter’s new look.
What’s changed on the new Twitter profiles
The new Twitter profiles have a lot of users (myself) included drawing some close comparisons to another network.
Your profile used to look like this:
But now, it looks like (or will look like) this:
It’s okay, you can say it: it’s not your imagination, it does look a lot like Facebook.
But comparisons aside, this redesign is meant to place more emphasis on the content you share with your community.
Here’s a basic overview of what’s changed:
- Larger profile pictures. Your profile pictures are now 400 pixels by 400 pixels (the aspect ratios stay the same).
- New header images. Header images are now more customizable. The image will span the entire browser – your old header might work but you’ll probably need to upload a new one – the larger scale will make it come out all fuzzy if you don’t.
- Best tweets. Your most popular tweets will appear in a slightly larger text so your most engaging content is easy to find on your profile.
- Pin a tweet. Pin your favorite tweet to the top of your profile page.
- Filtered tweets. Choose how you’d like to view content on profile pages. You can choose what timeline you’d like to view: tweets only, tweets and replies, or tweets with photos and videos.
1. Channel your inner Facebook with the new headers
The new full header images look a lot like the ones on your Facebook profile page, which means we already have a pretty good idea of what works. What looks good on Facebook will also look great on Twitter.
So, why not grab some inspiration from the best Facebook?
I find company accounts are an awesome source of creative samples for your own account. You can also check out your favorite Twitter profiles for ideas you might want to consider trying.
Hubspot did a great roundup of brands doing the new Twitter headers right, here’s a couple of my favorites:
While the new header might mean companies now have a better place to show off their teams or products. In my mind, it’s a great space for all users to express themselves and showcase their interests.
Although they might look similar, the dimensions between the Twitter header and the Facebook header are different, so don’t copy directly. Twitter suggests uploading a 1500 pixel by 500 pixel image.
Another good thing to remember is that images will resize depending on what device you’re on, so make sure to think about the image you choose because the layouts may change.
2. Pin your favorite content for some personal flair
You can now pin a tweet of your choice to the top of your Twitter profile page.
For brands, it’s a great opportunity to highlight an event, an announcement, or a tweet that drives some sort of emotion. Even though this might seem more fitting for a company, I still think it’s a fun opportunity for personal accounts.
Pinned tweets can showcase a variety of different personal content:
- Your favorite tweet
- Your most popular tweet
- A photo or video you want your followers to see
- A tweet that gets a conversation started
It’s a nice feature to share more about who you are and show off your interests. There’s a lot of freedom with what you can do with a pinned tweet!
3. Share more visual content
Images and videos are more strongly emphasized in the refresh – not a huge surprise considering photos outperform other link types on Twitter.
Buffer ran an experiment with adding images to their tweets and saw a big leap in their engagement. They analyzed 100 tweets from their own account and compared the averages of the tweets with and without images included. While their click rate didn’t grow much, they found that tweets with images received 89% more favorites…and 150% more retweets.
Needless to say, there’s a reason images and videos are getting better real estate and the new Twitter profile reflects this shift.
At the top of your profile page, you’ll find the same list of tabs, but with a few new additions: Tweets, Photos/Videos, Followers, Following, Favorites, and a drop down menu to reach your Lists.
Now, your community will have easier access to the photos and videos you share, and they’ll be able to see them filtered out from the rest of your content on their own page in your profile.
4. Start changing how you Favorite
The new Twitter profile also gives Favorites a more prominent position in the tabs at the top of your page.
The network appears to be positioning favorites as a form of social currency on the network and giving companies a chance to share social recommendations and reviews of their products. As a result, this focus means brands need to start treating favorites in a different way.
But what does this mean for personal accounts and the average user?
For me, favorites has been a way for me to show appreciation (kind of similar to the Facebook like). However, I also like to use it as a way to bookmark interesting content or funny tweets in FlowReader since our Saved for Later tab also saves favorited tweets.
You can use this new tab as a type of Twitter bookmark for yourself, or you can treat it as a space to highlight relevant content for your followers that you don’t want to retweet.
There’s a lot of different ways you could approach favorites, and if you have any more ideas to share, I’d love to hear them!
5. Filter tweets to get the content you want
Similar to the tab that allows you to see tweets with visual content, Twitter has added added a filter for you to remove tweets with replies from your timeline to give you more control over what you see. It’s a nice option to give users the ability to filter out some of the noise created by ongoing conversations in their timelines.
The new Twitter filters let users view: tweets, tweets plus replies, and (there have been reports of) tweets with photos and videos.
Just a word of caution – if you want to make sure your tweet is seen by everyone, don’t start a tweet with an @ symbol or be sure to add something before like this: “.@”. The default view of your profile will be of your “Tweets”and won’t include @-replies or conversations.
In short, this is a tweet that people will see:
And this is a tweet that people will miss:
The new Twitter profiles aren’t for everyone…
As always when there are big changes to a network, users are expressing a mix of emotions. For many (particularly companies and marketers), the new design is a good thing. But for others, it’s not a redesign they’re happy about.
But change is not necessarily a bad thing. The new refresh is clean and gives the service a unified look. Plus, while we can all draw comparisons to the current Facebook, there are definitely upsides to making tweets easier to read and enabling bigger photos.
The biggest issue is once you switch over, there’s no going back.
If the latest interface isn’t really your cup of coffee, your best bet to finding something similar to the old Twitter layout is to find a third-party app.
If you just want a no-nonsense way to view your timeline – you can always use the FlowReader Twitter tab to check out your latest timeline tweets.
And as a bonus development share: We’re working on a filter for our Twitter tab so you’ll be able to see content from specific profiles that you follow!
But if you’re in the market for a more complex tool for tracking and engagement, you might want to check out Tweetdeck. This Twitter-owned tool (ironic, I know) has a simple interface that makes it easy to view your timeline, notifications, mentions, messages, and searches in a single dashboard.
There’s a lot of similar apps out there for those of you who need to do more serious monitoring on Twitter, but I use Tweetdeck the most (and I’ve tried out a lot!).
It can feel a little overwhelming at first, but overall, it’s clean and simple to use. And as an added plus, it’s free (just like us)!