Taking inspiration from the cover photo design used on Facebook and Google+, Twitter has introduced a new style profile incorporating a header image. The new style overlays your profile picture, name, account name, bio (description), link and location over the header. Twitter has designed the new image area to try and ensure that the white text (there’s no means of changing the colour) is clearly displayed over the image.
The new style profile layout is visible on all official Twitter mobile devices including the new iPad app as well as the web version of TweetDeck, which is owned by Twitter.
The new design is optional and until you upload a header the existing style with profile photo on the left remains. Twitter recommends using an image size that is 1200×600 pixels.
Brands have yet to latch onto to this change and upload a header image. At the time of writing, Saturday 29 September, big brand brands such as @Pepsi, @Heineken, @AmericanExpress, @Debenhams and @Burberry have yet to enhance their profiles. Perhaps not that surprising when some such as the last named have yet to customise their Twitter background.
I would recommend that you take advantage of the new header style although if you don’t like it you can easily remove the image and the profile then reverts back to the previous style.
It’s important to make sure that you don’t consider the header in isolation to the rest of your profile. It should mesh in nicely with the background and profile photo and of course reflect your brand. Some profiles like @Greenpeace have fully integrated their avatar with the Twitter header so there’s plenty of scope for innovation with this approach.
For information on how to upload your header image read this blog post by @jealousdesign. If you need more detailed advice on your profile and how to use Twitter please let me know and we can work with Andy Thorne of Jealous Design as required.
Update at 3 October: A couple of clients with MacBook Pros have reported issues when uploading a header image when using Firefox. A solution is to use Safari.