Have you seen the new Twitter profile changes that have been introduced this week? No longer able to resist the visual development of social media, Twitter have redesigned the profile page by introducing a new header photo that is more prominent than the previous profile photo and biography, although these are still retained in the new design. This adds a layer of complexity to the combination of text and photos that you use, but overall the new look is fresher and more modern.
Twitter has also given more prominence to the photostream, making photos that you have added larger and a more integral part of the design; my photostream highlights the fact my Twitter activity is more business-focused and so textual, whereas on Facebook I have tended to share more personal photographs to a controlled audience. This is especially as I share photos of my children and my home life. I wonder how many of you are ready to share photographs more openly on Twitter if they are viewed by a larger, more anonymous audience?
Twitter’s focus on the profile pages means that whenever anyone sees your profile they will get a more visual impression of you along with the previous impact of the tweets themselves. This must in part be a reflection of Pinterest’s evergrowing popularity, and the settling-in of Facebook’s timeline, but is it also a pitch to be the main destination or starting point for social media? In the past websites that have aimed to be the one and only have failed as people have used multiple sites in multiple different ways, and homogenisation of social media will mean that the site with the best or most adopted way of doing the same things will win out – clearly that’s Facebook at the moment so Twitter is taking a risk here in not keeping distance in difference.
Still, with 340 million tweets per day, and no figures on how many of those are picture-based, the Twitter team must clearly feel that in some of these cases a picture is worth far more than 140 characters.
If you would like to play around with these new changes it is pretty straightforward to do – go to Twitter’s profile settings page and you will see on the design tab a way to upload a new header image. While you are doing this, it is worth reviewing your profile image and biography, to ensure they continue to reflect you at your best and support your Twitter objectives.
What do you think? Will this move increase Twitter’s popularity and make you more likely to share photos there? And will you be making your own Twitter profile changes? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.