Up Close With Twitter’s New Header Photos For Profiles

In case you missed the big announcement on the Today Show yesterday morning, Twitter has updated profiles with a new Timeline-like header photo that will appear across platforms, transitioning the social channel to become more visual and image-centric.

How To Update Your Twitter Profile Header

There isn’t an obvious “update” on your profile, though, you’ll need to go into your account settings and make these changes yourself (take it from someone who waited an hour to see if the roll out would “hit” my account.) To get the new look, you’ll need to log in, go to the gear icon in the top right hand corner, go into Settings, and then Design. Scroll down below the existing palettes to “Customize Your Own.” Here you will see options to Change Header. The minimum dimensions are 1252×626 pixels and the file can’t be any larger than 5 MB.

Customize Your Own Twitter Header

When you upload the image, you will get a preview where you can click and drag the image around to your liking, very much like Facebook’s Timeline photo feature. You can also zoom in and zoom out. When you’re ready, hit Save and you’re done. At this point, you can remove the header photo at any time – your profile will just go back to the way it was before.

Edit Twitter Header Photo

For our @marketingland account, we kept it simple and placed an image we had shared in the past. Our plan is to treat it a lot like our Facebook Timeline, switch it out with interesting or timely photos that reflect what we are talking about.

Marketing Land Twitter Profile Header


Twitter Headers, Just “Blah?”

Despite the unveiling on national TV, making the profile change didn’t seem like an urgent thing to do on the first day of roll out for many branded accounts. At the time of posting this post, some of my favorite brands I follow socially haven’t yet updated their profiles, including The New England Patriots, CNET, ModCloth, Dunkin Donuts. So I turned to media companies who may have followed The Today Show’s exampleNBC News and CBS This Morning updated their profiles, but many others haven’t yet, including ABC, NPR, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The LA Times, even Mashable.

Coincidentally, even some of the comments online yesterday were less enthusiastic about the changes. Brent Csutoras of Kairay Media posted on Facebook, “Ok.. played with the new Twitter profiles a bit, and well… blah. A year plus in the making for that?” Rob Woods, Marketing Manager for Reinvent said, “If they want to improve the web interface let me schedule tweets from there or be logged into multiple accounts at once. Plus who uses the web interface anyway?”

What’s your take? Will these updated Twitter profile pages really make an impact? The profile headers seem like a nice feature on the updated iPad app, the changes have certainly put mobile first. But are there features you would have rather seen implemented? Leave your comments below.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features & Analysis | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Accounts & Profiles | Twitter: User Interface


About The Author: Monica Wright has over 15 years of media, content marketing and project management experience, with a strong focus on driving online audiences for media companies. She serves as the the Director of Community for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land, always on the quest to understand how people interact and participate online. She started out her media career back in the grunge days interning at The Boston Phoenix and WFNX talking to listeners, writing artist bios and editing show listings, connecting people with the information they wanted. She still believes that listening and going "where the people are" builds the best audiences, only today, it's mostly online. Based near Portland, Maine, she occasionally blogs about media marketing at monicawright.com, and spends quality time at the dojo. You can find Monica on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

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  • EnsorcelledWitch74
  • Murrine Scene

    Hey! Those are millefiori :)

    Are they hard glass, soft glass, or polymer clay?

  • http://www.monicawright.com Monica Wright

    Not sure, we didn’t make the fake candy used in the image. :)

  • http://dragonsearchmarketing.com/ Ric Dragon

    I played around with it for a bit last night… what wasn’t immediately apparent is what would happen, if anything, to that nice background image you worked so hard on. Outcome: it remains. So, yeah, seems like a lot of hoohah for very little. But then again, we should use ever feature we can to help our clients or brands.

  • http://www.monicawright.com Monica Wright

    @ricdragon:disqus I just saw PBS did I nice job integrating promotion with it. https://twitter.com/pbs

  • http://dragonsearchmarketing.com/ Ric Dragon

    Nice – sorta suggests that as people get savvy on this – designing your images to look optimal here will make a difference – good place for branding. Dark background seems to look best too.

  • http://www.michaelmerritt.org/ Michael Merritt

    It’ll probably turn out okay if you do it right, but the positioning of the account info seems ripe for a hard-to-read mess. There’s a reason Facebook didn’t go with something similar on their cover image.

  • afakeplasticman

    these are great. there are already some twitter header providers popping up, like http://www.twitter-header-photo.com

  • Maria

    http://www.99tweet.com for great twitter headers, you can edit them and upload directly via twitter fast and easy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jnurs94 Josh Nurse

    I am glad that twitter has made this move, just fits in better with FB and G+…..At least now all my profiles look nearly the same lol.

    I’ve been grabbing my header pictures from this site:http://freetwitterheaders.net

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