Twitter has rolled out some big design changes in the last couple of days, as well as completely redesigned the mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Read on, and we’ll run you through what’s new, and let you know exactly how you can get the new features for your profile.
Twitter’s New Look – Here’s What’s New
Aside from the mobile apps for now, the major addition is the new header photos, which perform very much akin to what we’ve seen with cover photos on Facebook’s new Timeline profile. They’re essentially high resolution photos that you can place at the top of your profile page, as a backdrop to your profile photo.
Unlike Facebook’s cover photo, the header is obscured by having your profile photo sit smack in the middle, which means you might want to just opt for a background image like me below, rather than a second photo.
Your avatar is no longer tucked in the corner, but will display front and center. The photo stream, too, has been moved up, and will now be accessible on the apps.
The biggest changes have come with the iPad app, which no longer features the sliding panel UI down the left-hand side. Instead, it’s a fixed menu in the same layout, with the recently added ‘connect’, ‘discover’, and ‘me’ entries.
Twitter has said that it has built the app ‘from the ground up’, and to be fair they’ve added some functionality in the process. For instance, the new implementation of the ‘connect’ area of the website, now allows you to see people who have retweeted you, favourited your tweets and added you to lists etc.
They’ve also added a new focus on the user profiles, including obviously the new header image, but also by implementing a user’s photo stream into their profile below their recent tweets.
Another new feature is the ability to edit your profile, including profile picture, header photo, bio, location and URL from within the app. All of these features generally aid in making the mobile app a fuller representation of the browser version of the site.
Having said that, to finish on a small gripe, replacing the sliding panel UI means it’s now a longer process to switch between accounts if you have multiple existences on Twitter as many people do. Now it has to be done from within your own profile page where there’s a small button that brings up a list of all your accounts.
How To Get The New Features
To get the new features for the iPad, iPhone and Android apps, all you need to do is update to the latest, 5.0, version. This can be done as per usual through the app store/play store/market.
To add the new header to your account though, you need to go to the design section of the settings menu
Once there, under the heading ‘customize your own’, you’ll see a button labelled ‘change header’. If you click on there it’ll bring up your file system so you can locate the file you wish to upload. Twitter recommends a minimum resolution of 1252×626. Odd, I know.
Once you’ve selected your image, you’ll see the following:
From here you can scale your image to fit just right into the space, and once you’re done hit save and it’ll be added to your profile. Based on the image I selected, my profile now looks like this:
The rollout of the new profile pages has already begun, so you should be able to opt-in now by going to your Twitter page. Eventually, all users will have to switch over to the new look. That won’t be enforced immediately, however it could be made mandatory in the coming months as users adjust to the new design.