With the many changes happening over at Twitter.com, it can be difficult to keep your presence looking its absolute best. The largest recent change was the profile redesign, and – although not everyone has made the switch – it’s left some profiles looking less than stellar.
Here are three things you probably didn’t notice about the new Twitter profile that you should be paying attention to.
1. Your bio gets cut off… sometimes
If you’re anything like me, you struggled to keep your Twitter bio under the requisite 160 characters. It isn’t easy to encompass all of you in just one or two sentences! However, it seems as though that character count might be shrinking even further, to the chagrin of the verbose everywhere.
Twitter’s new profile allows visitors to explore mini-profiles of the users who follow and are followed by a particular individual. Each follow/follower has a little card with his or her profile picture, bio, username and other information neatly displayed. However, those of us with longer bios might want to do some light editing, in order to show up correctly in this display.
Take a look at the image below, and pay particular attention to the four bios highlighted in red:
Potluck Consulting is cut off after just 128 characters (three of which are the ellipsis), Caleb Storkey is cut off at 135, Carlos Gil at 119 and Nimesh Madushanka at 146. There doesn’t seem to be any consistency here. Potluck’s bio, for instance, finishes up with “news. #PotluckSF” – only 16 additional characters, for a total of 144, which is two fewer than the total displayed for Nimesh.
But, you might interject, Potluck’s bio ends right at the end of the fourth line. Surely Twitter is truncating bios so that they are exactly four lines long? Maybe, but take a look at Caleb: his bio is missing just “http://calebstorkey.com“, 23 characters, which all fit comfortably in the fourth line of his full profile bio, as seen below:
It’s not the end of the world, but in the case of poor Caleb above, it could mean truncating a vital piece of information such as a website or a call to action. It’s worth checking to see if your bio gets cut off when viewed through someone else’s profile, and considering shortening it if so.
2. Your images are being cut off
This isn’t directly related to the new profile, but it’s a big deal for brands and individuals who love tweeting pictures.
As you can see above, pictures are cut off when they appear in the timeline. In order to see the whole picture, a user has to click on it, which expands the entire tweet.
The problem is, the picture is cropped from the top and bottom, as if Twitter is zooming in on the center. And since a lot of photos of people, for instance, have the focal point near the top third, there’s many a headless team photo floating out there on Twitter these days.
The solution here is just to be aware of the limitations of how photos are displayed in tweets. In all likelihood, Twitter will follow Facebook’s footsteps and display full photos in the timeline in the next update or two.
3. Your cover photo is being cropped (if you follow Twitter’s instructions)
The new Twitter profile features a bigger, bolder cover photo that spans the top. According to Twitter, you should upload a 1500×500 photo to take full advantage of the space. From the Twitter help center:
The problem is, if you do that, your cover photo will be cut off at the top and bottom. The correct dimensions are 1500×375.
Take a look at the two images below for a visual. The first image is a scaled-down 1500×500 photo; the second is how that photo appears on my profile. Pay particular attention to the top of the trees and the bottom of the path.
This might not be too troublesome when using a photo like the one above, but if a brand is trying to create perfectly positioned calls to action, logos or other graphics, they might run into trouble.
The reason for the discrepancy is likely because Twitter’s cover photos are now using newly-introduced parallax technology – as you scroll down, the cover photo moves slightly more slowly than the content. Still, it’s important to know which portion of your photo will be seen most of the time and which part might only be seen when a visitor scrolls.
(Annoyed woman image via Shutterstock)