The dust is starting to settle after the initial rather mixed response to the Face “book” lift applied to twitter accounts.
You get a rather gentle prod by the platform to decide if you really do want to give it a go but I suspect like many the temptation to see what the fuss is about mixed with the nagging fear of being left behind drives users toward the new look layout.
Personally I don’t mind it, I think it’s a natural evolution but it’s also strikingly similar to many other sites and for a great number of twitter fans it’s a step too far.
But what exactly is all the fuss about?
- Larger profile photos – Your profile snap is now 400 pixels by 400 pixels it’s the same square ratio as before but you might want to check that the upsizing hasn’t distorted the original image. It could be the ideal opportunity to upload a new profile pic
- New dimensions for the header image – Like Facebook the main image dominates the screen and fits across the browser. The image size required is 1500 pixels by 500 pixels. If you really like your current header image you’ll need to ensure it hasn’t become blurred by the change in dimensions. Note that alternative screen sizes will cause the image and its layout to appear differently.
- Top tweets – Tweets that you’ve generated that created the most interest and engagement will appear larger than other posts. A good way for anyone visiting your twitter stream to see what others find interesting in your updates.
- Pinning tweets – Now you can pin a tweet of your choice to the top of your profile page. This is useful if you want to extend the life of an important message given the average lifecycle of a tweet is but 30 seconds.
- Filtering views – There’s a useful choice now for you to be able to see tweets of others in isolation or to see the tweet and replies to review a conversation.
- General layout – The look of twitter on PC and laptop certainly can be likened to that of Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest with far greater emphasis on photo and video linked tweets on top of the increase in profile and header image prominence.
Is it progress?
- Yes – if you see visual content as king and the future of meaningful social media engagement.
- No – if you were happy with the platform as it was and enjoyed the simple yet effective construct of the site.
My personal view is that it adds certain useful features, in particular the pinning of tweets to the top of your profile page. One problem I see with the changes is the proliferation of smartphone and smaller tablets and their use over PC and laptop. You can now take photos and post so easily from these devices that they are quickly taking the place of the traditional methods used for online interaction. As it stands the new changes have not migrated fully to mobile device formats but no doubt it’s just a matter of time before they do.