If you’re anything like me, you find change irresistible. To quote the ‘one rule’ of the great and fictional Barney Stinson, “new is always better.” But not everyone feels this way, of course. For those who prefer the comfort of the familiar (or just don’t have the time), the constant changes to social media profiles can feel daunting. So today we’re going to break down the changes to the new Twitter layout released this week into manageable, bite-sized pieces.
1. New Twitter Image Dimensions
First things first. You’ll need to prepare your images in advance, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Header Image: 1500 x 500 pixels
Twitter has decided to ‘go big or go home’ with their new header. This giant image spans the width of the screen. Don’t have a giant image ready to go? There are some pretty attractive template options available through Twitter that you can use until you can create something you like.
- Profile Picture: 400 x 400 pixels
Did you make a tiny profile picture perfectly sized for the previous layout? You’re going to need to start over, I’m afraid. If you run a business, this should probably be your logo, so hopefully you have it saved in various formats already. It will have a thick white border around it when it’s live on the page, so keep that in mind when you’re picking the background, etc.
One thing you might notice is that you do not need to prepare a screen-filling background image with the new layout. Some people are fired up about this, but I’m actually pretty relieved. When the large background image was done well, it could look really nice. However, with everyone having different screen sizes these days, it was quite hard for the average non-designer to create a successful image that didn’t look distracting or get cut off awkwardly.
2. Get The New Layout
There are two ways to get the new Twitter layout applied to your account. One is to log in, and hope that the offer shows up to greet you. If it doesn’t, you can simply go to the Twitter webpage about the new layout and scroll down until you see the blue “Get It Now” buttons. Click, and you’ll be taken to your profile to set it up. This is the part where you’re really glad you already got those images done. Once it looks the way you want, go ahead and approve it.
3. Make Use Of New Features
The new Twitter layout is more than just a pretty face, you know. There are some great new features that came long with your new look. Check out the new options underneath your header image. In addition to the expected Tweets, Following, Followers, and Favorites, you’ll also see a new option to view only photo and video tweets. Now, your more visual followers can toggle over to this tab and skip your text-only messages. Take advantage of this change by always including an image with your important tweets, to make sure they show up in both views of your feed.
The other new feature to take advantage of is the ability to pin a certain tweet to your profile page. Much like Facebook’s pinning option, this function allows you to keep an important tweet front and center on your profile. Now, this isn’t going to be life-changing for most profiles, because people don’t actually spend that much time on profile pages – the mostly view your tweets in their home feed. However, if you’re running a contest, won an award, or launched a new product, it’s a great idea to go ahead and pin that to the top for awhile for any visitors who do stop by.
What do you think of the new Twitter layout? Are you a fan, or just sick of all the changes? Let us know how you feel in the comments below.