In a move towards even more customization, Twitter has rolled out the ability to create and upload what they’re calling “header images” to your profile. Bigger than profile pictures, but smaller than Facebook’s cover photos, the new header image lets users and companies add a little extra flair to their profile page, on top of the already customizable Twitter background.
But in an interesting twist, Twitter has decided to layer your info and your profile picture on top of your header image, presumably in hopes that users will create customized header images that incorporate the profile picture into the image (see below).
Now, this is not a new concept. Facebook users have been cleverly blending profile pictures and cover photos since they rolled out the new Timeline layout, but Twitter is the first social giant to plant a flag and design a feature around this idea. It seems as though Twitter’s less graphically inclined users might get a little frustrated with having to take the time to create this customized image combination if they want to have a header image, which could land Twitter in a perpetual state of limbo – where some users have embraced the new header image, and many others have not. As of right now, if you don’t choose to have a header image, your profile appears as you’re used to. This way, only users who see value in creating a custom image that works nicely with their profile picture will be the ones with the new feature.
At best, the new header images will offer a creative outlet for Twitter’s users and add another point of interest while checking out someone’s profile page. At worst, they have just created an aesthetic fissure on their site between those willing to take the time to play along and those that are not. While this might be a little overdramatic, it’s one step towards the mess that Myspace found themselves in, due to over-customization and a decentralized look (stay tuned, more on that tomorrow!).
If you’re interested in creating your own header image, here’s a link to a blog post that takes you through the steps. If you want SUM to whip you up something fancy, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.