You may or may not have heard, but Twitter has undergone a complete makeover. Many people, die-hard fans and new users alike, are noting that the redesign looks suspiciously like Twitter’s more visual cousin, Facebook. And indeed it does.
A redesign this significant, which shifts the focus of the platform from text-based to visual, will alter the way in which users behave and interact on Twitter. The changes will force brands to adapt and figure out how to use this new Twitter to help their campaigns.
Currently, the new design is only in effect for a small portion of Twitter users, but it is expected to roll out en masse across the network over the next few weeks. The redesign brings visual content to the forefront, with more prominent profile pictures and bigger background images.
Image source: Twitter
A helpful mindset is to treat the new Twitter as though it’s a Facebook-Twitter hybrid for the time being. Your audience will still want that skimmable, bite-size content characteristic of Twitter, but your Tweets now have the opportunity to be much more visual.
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The first step is to prepare your profile for the new layout. As you set up your new homepage, here are some guidelines to follow:
Your new background image (or wallpaper as some people call it) should measure 1500 x 500 px, though the top 398 px should contain all the important visual information because the bottom gets partially cut off.
Your new profile image should measure 256 x 256 px.
You’ll be able to “pin” tweets to the top of your feed, letting them act almost like a Facebook status, so begin thinking about what 140-characters you want to represent your brand to anyone who visits your page. It’s a more malleable way to represent yourself than your personal bio, which tends to be more permanent.
When others visit your homepage, now they’ll be able to sort what kinds of tweets they see — choosing from photos/videos and favorited posts, among others.
The most significant change, however, is the treatment of tweets based on engagement. When a tweet is more popular (ie, gets more shares, favorites, etc), it will be displayed with a bigger font — in other words, your more successful tweets will be featured more prominently.
Once you’ve prepared images for your profile that fit the new format, here are 3 ways your marketing campaign can take advantage of the new, more visual Twitter.
1. Make use of branded images — If you post an interesting statistic, design an image to go with it in your company’s design aesthetic.
2. Post tweets that encourage favoriting or retweeting — Good ways to do this include asking questions to your followers, sharing exciting news about your company (ie, “our app’s new feature is now available in beta”), or fun facts.
3. Link to videos — Now an embedded video will appear in the Twitter feed as part of the tweet, rather than the previous format of a link.
We’ll keep you posted with new tips and updates as the new Twitter ripples across the web in the coming weeks. For now, the best thing you can do is be ready for when it reaches you so you’re not left playing catch up.