Yesterday Twitter landed a surprise on their community by announcing a change to the web profiles layout for all users as well as 3 new apps (for iPhone, Android and iPad). The iPad app is totally brand new having been built from scratch and I believe it’s a big improvement. I wasn’t a fan of the previous version, as you may be able to tell.
The main changes that you will see is that; 1) the photo’s section has become more prominent, 2) there is now a tab called ‘Me’ to help give it a more personal feel, and 3) there is now a new header section – much like the one on Facebook.
“New profiles also help you get to know people better through their pictures. Photo streams now appear below anyone’s most recent Tweets on iPhone, Android and iPad. Swipe through the stream to see the photos other users have shared or tap any thumbnail to view their photos in fullscreen.
“While the header photo keeps your profile simple and consistent on iPhone, iPad and Android, you will also still have an additional photo – a background photo – on twitter.com. Upload a background image to complement your header and profile photos,” Twitter said in a blog post.
Initially it was launched with the US programme @TodayShow along with some of it reporters. This gave people an initial look as to what can be done and how it will look. These changes were then quickly rolled out to all accounts.
For sport it is another opportunity to use the space to be creative and aid in highlighting matches or campaigns that they are running at any one time. You can still play around with the background image but the limitation with that is that it you have only ever been able to view it on the web version.
Twitter is now primarily used on mobile so this piece of creativity has always felt a little wasted. Twitter have been keen to merge the experience, no matter what device you are using so the profile header will be visible no matter what you are using to visit that page. This presents a much bigger opportunity to be reactive and creative.
The first real example of a sports team taking advantage of this is the New York Giants. They have used it to promote their upcoming game and have been a little clever with it too.
The header also incorporates your profile image and biog, so this covers some of the image space you have to play with. They have realised this and reduced their biog section to just say @Giants. This frees up space below it to add text into the picture and say more than they potentially could have before. In this case they are promoting their next match against the Panthers.
Being a big team they dont need as much of an explanation as to who they are as most people already know and they have a verified account, so why waste the space when you can do more with it than that.
Many other teams have yet to start up this new feature and still have the old layout visible. Being a Tuesday before Champions League games many have better things to do and will no doubt come out with some creative solutions. My feeling is that we will see the usual suspects of Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal being the first on board with others to follow.
I would like to see the Ryder Cup make use of it, as well as the two teams, as it such a huge event which about to start and they can push extra features and activities easily. But will they do so?
And how will athletes respond, will it be something they will creative about or will it be a picture of them eating their dinner or walking the dog? We shall wait with no so baited breath.
In all it is a nice new feature which some will love and others will hate (some will always hate change). It does feel more user friendly, especially the iPad app, and the new header is a nice new feature for companies, clubs and individuals to take advantage of.
Away from sport, here is a nice example of how the header and profile image can be merged together…
What do you think to the changes??