Twitter goes all Facebook? Our review of the new Twitter profile features.

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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After a few weeks of testing, Twitter officially rolled out its new twitter profile pages to the masses on April 22. Before then it was only made available to a few power celeb users, the overall consensus was that it resembled Facebook’s current layout. Take a look for yourself (old vs. new):

old new twitter layout

 

Twitter has campaigned this new layout with the phrase “Meet the new you.” Here’s a list of the significant changes/upgrades, so you can better understand the new you:

1. Much like the “cover photos” atop the profile pages on rival services such as Facebook and Google+, Twitter’s new design allows you to add a big image to your twitter profile. Twitter calls this a header photo (the previous “header image” merely served as a background to your profile photo).

  • A quick tip for those who want to transition: you’ll want to upload an image that is 1,500 x 500 pixels in size because anything smaller might get stretched out. Plus, profile photos are now higher resolution as well, so you’ll want something that is at least 400 x 400 pixels.

twitter header photo

 

2. Incorporation of ‘Best Tweets’ and ‘Pinned Tweets.’ With the new profile design, some of your tweets will have larger text than others. If this happens, it’s basically Twitter’s way of telling you that it’s one of your ‘best tweets’ due to a high level of engagement (favorites, re-tweets, comments). If you just can’t get enough of one of your own tweets, you can now pin that tweet to the top of your twitter profile timeline so it can be the first thing people see despite recent tweets (you may also swap it out anytime you want). To do this, just go to any tweet on your profile and click on the three-dot icon below what you’ve written and from the menu that pops up choose “pin to your twitter profile.” It will remain at the top your page until you unpin it (using the same steps) or pin a new one. You may even call them “sticky tweets.” This is a good feature that can be used in many innovative ways for businesses and personal tweets alike (i.e., a business may use it to highlight a new offer or product). And well, the ‘best tweets’ feature is a better way to find out your best content. Two positives for this one.

pinning tweets

 

And then it’ll look something like:

pinned tweet on profile

 3. Filtered tweets. Below the header photo of the new profile layout there is now a set list of options that allow you to filter the tweets you see on your page or anyone else’s page. The filtering options aren’t new per say but they’re now all together, which makes sorting quicker and easier. You can filter to just view: user’s tweets, tweets with replies, or only the tweets with embedded photos or videos.

filtered tweets

 

4. The background image is somewhat gone. Your old background image will no longer show up on your profile age, meaning, you have to pick a solid color (If you get the new profile, you have to go into “Settings” and then “Profile” to customize colors). However, the background image isn’t entirely gone, it will still be visible when you view “Home,” “Notifications,” or “Discover,” basically anything except the “Me” profile page. You’ll also see it when viewing individual tweets or a list you’ve created.

background image twitter

5. Date you joined. That’s right, below your profile pic is the date you joined. This may be a plus for older users to claim rights to certain content.

twitter profile date joined

Despite all the recent Facebook mirroring, Twitter is still essentially Twitter. Unlike Facebook, Twitter still limits you to the 140 characters. So I guess you can say, compared to Facebook’s long status updates or shares, Twitter still makes every word count.

Positive reviews point out that Twitter’s profile pages now use browser-space more efficiently, make navigation a lot easier (filtering options) and the option to promote and assess content better (pinned tweets, best tweets). All this seems to be a plus, especially for ecommerce and inbound marketing strategies using twitter. Some individuals have stated that the new look is a bit distracting, given that the scrolling experience has changed and it’s no longer like the old profile where you get to absorb a lot of tweets/headlines quickly. These people feel the new changes are great for brands, not so great for those individual tweeters who prefer the old version.

Although you can decide whether or not all these changes are positive or negative, sadly you won’t be able to decide to stick with the old version because somewhere down the line Twitter is bound to force all its users to convert to the new profile (yet again, similar to how Facebook has done). As I mentioned before, digital marketing is all about adapting and getting the most out of it for your business. In this case, Twitter’s changes favors brands and businesses.

 

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