Twitter announced a new profile design this week, promising users the ability to “use a larger profile photo, customize your header, show off your best Tweets and more“. It sounds very familiar but some of the “more” will be features that aren't already part of the Facebook profile page. The Social Media Hat identified five key changes along with dimensions for the images that will dominate. The 360i blog explained what the visual boost will mean to users. The custom background images that many users relied upon for branding information are gone and Tweets with higher engagement will be visually highlighted.
The reaction has been mixed. The design itself has been praised but there is a meme claiming that Twitter has completely abandoned its minimalistic niche in order to keep pace with Facebook. Wired embraced that move as a “thoughtful strategy” that will finally make Twitter consumer friendly.
The new design is rolling out slowly but apparently big ad spenders are being given priority. Digiday found several large brands that have already been switched along with some of the early strategies for what is now a highly visual platform for 140 character messages.