@LadyGaga to @BarackObama, @DrunkHulk to @Jesus, Twitter has attracted more than 140 million users since it was founded by Jack Dorsey in 2006. Its 140 character limit may be short, but its widespread appeal has led to it being one of the most influential platforms for monitoring brand discussion. It is estimated that 340 million tweets are sent every day, giving it a valuation of $8bn.
Unlike Facebook, its data is far more open and its API more friendly, leading to apps galore. As a result, an estimated
60% of Twitter users access the site via mobile, through a mix of third party apps and Twitter’s mobile site/app. (Although - changes are ahead, with Twitter looking to bring its users back to its own apps/website, restricting API access, therefore reducing the number of third party sites with full Twitter functionality). This was further outlined this week, as Twitter unveiled a “mobile first” strategy, as CNET is calling it.
On Tuesday, the Twitter blog was populated with a string of posts about design changes, with the news resonating throughout social. The new profile design beautifully merges together Twitter’s web and mobile apps, providing users with a more visual experience throughout.
The most notable upgrade is the introduction of a background header image, which is designed to complement a user’s profile picture.
Ryan Seacrest’s early adoption underlines the ability to merge the two. We’ve already seen some great examples from others, with my personal favourites including @garrettgee and @Rosen. No doubt the majority of profiles will be covered with personal images and icons, although I’ve yet to come across anyone with a Justin Bieber header.
iPad app now claims to be faster, with tweets expanding with a single touch, along with a full history of mentions/retweets and follows. Users can also discover accounts they might like to follow, along with seeing tweets and accounts favourited and followed by friends, something bound to please marketers around the world. The iPhone and Android app, (notice no mention of Blackberry), features the new profiles, with the ability to update your header image on your phone (which will appear on all platforms). It also includes a photo stream, so users can swipe through thumbnails, clicking to view the full size image. Nice move by the Twitter team.
How do I update?
We thought you’d never ask. Twitter has rolled out the feature to all users, so it’s time to dig out your favourite image and get creative.
We’ll start with the web version of Twitter. Simply head on over to
https://twitter.com/settings/design. Here you’ll see the design background settings, which is followed by ‘Customize your own’. The recommended size of image is 1200 x 600, and the maximum size of upload is 5mb. You want to make sure you don’t upload a small image, or it’ll look stretched, and images should ideally be in landscape. It’s really as simple as that. The app version is just as simple: Go to the ‘Me’ tab, from which your settings will be displayed below the header. Within this, choose the header using an existing photo or ‘take a photo’, which can then be scaled to fit the dimensions of the header. It couldn’t be simpler.
As a social media agency, we love to see some great examples, as does Mashable. Matt Silverman recently covered the new header image, nicely complimented by a four minute video highlighting how to unite your avatar and header image. This can be seen below, and what’s more so, you can even download a Photoshop template
Why not have a go and impress your followers. Feel free to share your creations, One Direction headers are fine, no Bieber though thanks.
From insight executive Mark @MisterMumble @yomegosocial