How will the New Twitter Profile Layout affect brands?

So, I recently wrote about these new Twitter changes and they were on their way. Well guess what? They’re here! My profile has changed over this morning and so has a few others. If you haven’t seen the new look yet, you’ll very likely see your profile page has been updated in the coming weeks. If you can’t wait, then you can get the new profile right now! Just go here and click “get it now” button half way down the page:  https://about.twitter.com/products/new-profiles  So, what do all these new changes mean for businesses?

    • Twitter Header Image: Instead of the header photos located behind the profile picture and bio description like before, they are now located at the top and fill the length of the screen. Just like a cover photo on Facebook! In order to create a good quality header image, it’s important to note that this new size is 1500 pixels. Header Image New Twitter Profile LayoutTo add a new header image, simply upload your image as before.  Go to profile, click edit profile and you will be prompted to upload/change header image. It’s very important that businesses use this space cleverly with branding, images and key messages.
    • Profile Picture: The profile picture is now much larger for new profiles. The new Twitter profile picture dimensions are now 400 x 400 pixels. It’s very important to make sure your image is properly formatted for the new layout. There is nothing worse than a business with a poor, low resolution, ill-fitted profile picture! As you can see in my screenshot above, it is no longer located in the middle of the page either! It is now on the top left and will be slightly overlapping the header image on the bottom left (something to remember when designing your new custom header image!). Luckily, if you already have a profile image – it has already been resized and fit to the larger dimensions by Twitter. It would be a good idea to review your images on Twitter. With the new Twitter profile layout  there are more customization options available, and you should probably change your images to compliment each other, and optimise this space.
    • Popular Content: One of the biggest differences will be the importance placed on engagement for each post. Any post without any form of engagement such as a comment, re-tweet or favorite will be shown significantly smaller than a ‘popular’ post.
    • New Twitter Profile Layout Popular Tweets Social media marketers will need to ensure that they are posting quality tweets in order to increase engagement on all of their posts since it will be obvious if a post was not ‘popular.’ See my tweets (screenshot on the left) which vary in popularity!Since tweeted photos will appear automatically in the newsfeed and will be larger, it is more important to find photos to tweet. Twitter’s new design is more visually appealing so we should be posting with that in mind!
    • Pin a Tweet: Another feature on the new Twitter profile is ‘pinned’ tweets. If you had a great tweet that you want to have more exposure this can be ‘pinned’ to remain at the top of your page. The ‘pinned’ posts are similar to Facebook’s ‘Pin to Top’ option, which keeps a post at the top of the page for a week.  ‘Pinning’ will be great for brands running a campaign because instead of creating repeated tweets and risking annoying their followers they can circulate ‘pinned’ tweets for exposure. Even with this new profile redesign, when I click someone’s name to go to their profile, I still get a pop-up with their bio info — instead of being taken directly to their profile page. Nothing new there! Why do I need to visit a profile if I can find everything I need in that pop-up? I just wonder how many people actually click again to go through to someone’s profile? Will it make much difference if people are staying on the timeline for their news? It’s worth a try though!
    • Other Updates to note: Along with the images adjustments, there are a few of the other notable updates to the Twitter layout.
      • Your information (name, handle, bio, pictures, etc) are all located on the left of the page right below the profile picture.
      • Who to Follow and Trends are now located along the right-hand side, just moved across the page.
      • Your TweetsFollowers, and Following tabs are also now to the right of the profile picture.
      • New to the tabs menu are Favorites and Photos/Videos. There is also a List drop-down tab with more options.

New Twitter Profile Layout

On the new Twitter profile, your tweets and content (the important part) take up most of the page. As before, they are listed vertically by date and you can scroll along like a regular news feed. You can now however, pin a tweet to stay at the top of your new twitter profile.

A more dramatic change however is when you click the Following or Followers tab, and view who is following you and who you are following. You no longer get the scrollable list. Now, you get a sort of Pinterest board look:

Followers

How will this new twitter profile really impact on brands?

I don’t think it will have a huge impact. It is important to update images so the twitter account looks well and has strong branding. However, 76% of Twitter users are on mobile. This update is on desktop only, and I am not sure that will attract people back to desktop (or if Twitter even want this to happen!) However, perhaps Twitter are testing this for a mobile roll-out too?

Will these changes affect *HOW* you use twitter as part of your social media strategy? Other than needing to update your header image… Not really.

With this new twitter profile update there seems to be a big focus on content, interaction and engagment. These profile changes won’t make your content more engaging nor will twitter become busier. In fact, most people won’t even notice the change!

My advice? Update your header image, be sure that your profile picture is still high resolution then carry on as normal. Of course, “normal” actually being very strategic as part of an overall digital marketing plan ;)

So, lots of changes! I have to admit, I like the changes so far although the new Twitter profile layout is causing a mixed reaction! Here’s some reaction to the change on Twitter this morning:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by

Aoife Rigney is a digital marketing and social media strategist, advisor, trainer and event speaker. Aoife loves her work – it’s her passion! From training one to one or a large group, advising a business on their digital strategy or speaking to a room of people – she simply loves it!

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