Twitter’s New Layout & Your Customized Background
You may have heard by one way or another by now that Twitter rolled out a new layout (at the end of last year actually). Big woop you say? Well if you haven’t taken a look at it yet (and I know some clients who have not) and you took the time to customize the background – you might want to pay attention now. At least you might want to be aware that not everyone will be able to see your fancy backdrop to your Twitter profile.
Without getting too technical, the new layout has basically expanded the width of the Twitter profile columns. More real estate has been taken up for improved user interface and of course growth for Twitter as a service. Yay for the users, but bad for the people and business who enjoyed a little extra free branding in the background of their tweet streams.
I have included two links to two articles that do a great job of explaining all the technical issues in pixel real estate terms below. A simple summary is that your Twitter background is now dependent on the users’ screen resolution. Screen resolution has always been a factor in all website design and development – ahem – good website design and development. Whether website owners or not understood what it meant, a website developer would always take it into consideration. Basically the users’ monitor settings will determine how much space on each side of the Twitter profile covers your background. Also to say, how much of the background can you see around the edges of your Twitter profile page. It has been reduced considerably – down to pixels. In fact if the average monitor settings are currently 1024 x 768 (for regular hi end computer users by the way) then the average amount of space available to utilize is 40 pixels. You can see the dimensions mapped in this article from Web Design Shock. So if the resolution on your audiences’ monitor is the old stand by 800 x 600, you won’t be able to see any background.
How can you plan for all the different screen resolutions? You simply can’t. >:-/ Generally, developers always went for the best middle ground of the target audience. That is still the best option. If you have a designer that can use Photoshop layouts, then you have a solution to this little snag in technology evolution. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then you might need to use one of those freebie Twitter background makers and hope they update to the new layout parameters.
In the end, your Twitter background that once gave you a little creative space for additional information has been reduced to a few lines of vertical text or some abstract art that references your logo colors. So if you never had the chance to customize your Twitter account, you saved some time and probably some money. And if you did a little customization, then it’s time to be creative and update your accounts.
Right now is the best time to figure out how you want to handle this little glitch. If you do have a background that will not look good with the new layout, then pick a background from your account that matches your website or logo colors and just focus on your Tweet content.
Twtter is still allowing some users to use the old version, however, everyone will be updated to the new version. The bottom line is Twitter’s bottom line – new layout is more than likely based on creating new real estate on a profile page for…wait for it…yes ads! Don’t get too excited…
Mashable does an excellent job of providing details and sample layouts for the new Twitter backgrounds.
And Web Design Shock provides great visuals in explaining how much space is actually left depending on the users’ screen resolution.