In another step towards becoming more Facebook-like, micro-blogging network Twitter has revamped its profile page. How will the change affect Twitter-oriented marketing?
To see some examples of the new profile, check out the pages for US first lady Michelle Obama, actors Kerry Washington, Channing Tatum or Zac Efron or even CMSWire editor Noreen Seebacher (shown at left).
In a post on its company blog, Twitter designer David Bellona wrote this week that the new profile layout "will be easier (and, we think, more fun) to express yourself through a new and improved web profile."
Larger Photo, Pinned Tweets
The new design allows a larger profile photo, header customization and slightly larger display of tweets that have the most engagement. Users can also pin a tweet to the top of the profile page and can select how to view the timeline when checking other profiles. Timeline viewing options include tweets, tweets with photos/video or tweets and replies.
The new profile is being rolled out first to a small group of existing users as well as to every new user. It is part of Twitter's overall effort to become friendlier to both users and advertisers, with more media options and more engaging functionality.
There are several new features that businesses and their marketers might find interesting:
- The large photo at the top provides plenty of real estate for a strong brand impression
- Pinned and larger tweets can orient the attention of profile viewers in a given direction
- Options to view timelines, if planned carefully, provide different views that could increase engagement of the viewer
End of Hashtags?
Javier Burón, founder and CEO of Twitter analytics platform SocialBro, told CMSWire the new design "is in line with the news that Twitter plans to introduce photo tagging and phase out hashtags."
There has been speculation that the company is working to phase out hashtags and @replies, following comments by Twitter news head Vivian Schiller that such features were "arcane." Some Twitter watchers have said those characteristic Twitter components are relatively difficult for newcomers to learn and that # and @ are too nerdy.
Burón added that "the ability to pin top tweets to the top of your page is good news for social media managers," while the"option to filter feeds to show only tweets with photos and video underlines the importance of including media in your updates."
He said it will be "interesting so see whether these changes are quickly followed by the introduction of more advertising opportunities."