Did you spend ages deciding on the perfect Facebook cover photo so you could visually “express yourself”? Well, get ready for another careful decision: Twitter just announced a serious profile update that allows users to pick a header image for their profiles. It also released new Android, iPhone and iPad apps that let you upload the image on the go, among other things.
In a spot on the US’s Today Show and three separate blog posts, the Twitter team announced the profile reshuffle which sees the user’s avatar move to a front-and-centre position over the header image on the desktop website and official apps. The ‘me’ option has also relocated to the left of the top navigation bar in the apps and on the site, alongside ‘home’, ‘connect’ and ‘discover’ menus, and the recent photos stream has moved into its own double-layered grid.
On the new Android and iPhone apps, the header space is a bit more condensed than on the website, as just your avatar, Twitter handle and name is visible. If you want to see a user’s bio and location, you have to swipe across the header space above their tweets. The new profile pages also display a horizontal stream of recent images under the user’s three most recent tweets, which you can quickly tap to view in full screen mode.
The company also overhauled its iPad app to allow users to expand tweets to see images, videos and web page summaries with a single tap, without leaving their timeline. Another tap and they can see it all in full screen mode, and swipe across to view all the user’s images in a gallery.
It seems previous reports about Twitter’s intention to remove functionality for third-party image services like yfrog and TwitPic from its apps has proved true: in the new apps, users aren’t given an option to choose their image provider, but have to use Twitter’s built-in image option.