Of all the other social media platforms, Twitter obviously stands out. Generally considered as a weird choice of networking, the reason behind this unmerited assumption is not farfetched.
On Twitter, you are only able to write messages of no more than 280 characters; thus making it a seemingly inefficient means of communicating; you can’t even edit your tweets the moment you post them.
Despite these shortcomings, there is no denying the fact that it is one of the biggest and most accepted social platforms, used by both individuals and businesses alike.
As an avenue of communication, Twitter is used for pleasure, social interaction, networking and even for business purposes.
Despite its many distinguishing features, one aspect Twitter shares in collaboration with other social platforms is image sharing.
On Twitter, you have the option of posting tweets and images that can then be liked and retweeted by your audience.
Twitter generally has three image categories for your profile- profile pictures, header pictures and shared pictures.
Each of these picture types has its own distinct specifications and guidelines for the Twitter app.
We will now attempt to explain each of the Twitter picture types, sizes, specifications and general guidelines.
Twitter profile picture
Your Twitter profile picture is basically the general overview of the totality of your personal or brand’s page. It is a pictorial representation of your account and is the first and most popular image your Twitter followers are exposed to. Your Twitter profile picture can mainly be seen in places like:
Your Twitter page where it is a full-sized profile picture;
Your followers’ Twitter feeds where it shows up anytime you make a new tweet, retweet or like a Twitter tweet. (note that a follower can only see your liked tweets if their news feed is in the ‘top tweets first’ mode;
The ‘who to follow’ spot on Twitter users’ news feed;
The notification tab of followers or users who have turned on notifications for your tweets;
Notification tabs of users whose profiles you’ve engaged; either by liking or retweeting their tweets or by following them.
The recommended specifications for Twitter profile pictures are 400 x 400 pixels, a JPG, GIF or PNG file format and a file size not greater than 2mb.
When creating your Twitter profile picture, you should be wary of Twitter’s algorithm that cuts off part of your image and makes your hitherto square image a circular one.
Here’s how it works; you upload a 400 x 400 pixels image in a square form, Twitter’s algorithm represents it as a circle on your profile, and the full-sized picture is only shown when a user taps on it.
For this reason, it is advised that your Twitter profile picture should have all its vital information (like your brand’s logo, name etc) placed right in the center of an image.
This will help to prevent the loss of any important information and ensure that your Twitter profile picture serves its intended purpose.
This means that while the recommended dimensions for your full Twitter profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels, your branding information should be placed in an area slightly smaller than that.
Twitter header picture
Unlike your profile photo which shows up in a variety of places, your Twitter header picture is limited to a specific position -the top of your Twitter page.
The major function your Twitter header picture serves is to engage the interest of anyone who visits your profile.
Generally working in conjunction with your profile picture, they can also be used to promote your brand or pass across specific information.
The general recommended dimensions -approved by Twitter themself- for Twitter header pictures are 1500 x 500 pixels with an aspect ratio of 3:1, a file size of not more than 2mb, a PNG, JPG or GIF file format and a rectangular shape as opposed to the square shaped profile picture.
It should be noted that while the GIF format is an acceptable Twitter format, it is currently not supported as a Twitter banner image.
Twitter, as a flexible social media platform can be accessed from devices of varying sizes and interfaces. This means that your Twitter header shows up differently on different platforms, with certain parts getting cropped out to fit diverse screen sizes.
Twitter’s scaling interface can affect your header image in two main areas, – the top and the bottom parts of your image (about 60 pixels for each). Therefore, it is recommended to locate vital information in between these parts.
Also, the placement of your profile picture can also affect your Twitter banner. Usually, Twitter places your profile picture over the bottom left corner of your banner picture. This means that a certain part of your banner picture would get covered up by the profile picture.
Although the exact placement of your profile picture varies from device to device, the area taken up by your profile picture is estimated to be 430 x 172 pixels at the max.
To prevent losing important information as a result of these highlighted reasons, it is recommended that:
Your Twitter header contents should not be positioned at either the top or the bottom of the image;
The bottom left part of your Twitter header image should either be left blank or consist of unimportant design in order to avoid visibility interference by your profile picture.
Other than these reasons, there is no harm in following the recommended header sign of 1500 x 500 pixels while maintaining a 3:1 aspect ratio.
Images in Tweets
Twitter as a social interaction platform allows the sharing of images either alone or as part of a tweet.
However, when you post a link to something and you attach a single image or several at once, your images come out different, with the image preview getting slightly cropped until it is clicked on.
It is difficult to figure a way around this preview cropping, as it occurs seemingly at random.
Luck’s on your side however, as we have done the heavy lifting and came up with a list of recommended sizes for attached images on Twitter:
For a shared link, the recommended size is 1200 x 628 pixels;
For a single image, the recommended size is 1200 x 675 pixels;
For two images, the recommended sizes are 700 x 800 and 700 x 800 pixels;
For three images, the recommended sizes are 700 x 800, 1200 x 686 and 1200 x 686 pixels;
For four images, the recommended sizes are 1200 x 600 pixels for all four pictures.
Note that these are just recommendations and you are free to post images using the regular 1200 x 600 pixels or 1200 x 1200 pixels dimensions. However, your pictures could get cropped and show up differently on various device types, thus leading to weird-looking previews.
Hence, to optimize your Twitter images and give them a clean look, it is recommended that you follow the specifications given above.
If you choose to follow the regular sizes, rectangular images are ideal for desktop viewing while square ones are better for mobile viewing.
Twitter banner tips
It does not matter whether or not you are tech-savvy, your Twitter profile needs to look cool, attractive, inviting, yet professional so that your audience’s attention may be gained and held.
To do this, enough attention needs to be paid to your Twitter banners.
Twitter banners are one commonly overlooked aspect of Twitter profiles, yet they play a very important role at profile optimization.
If your Twitter banner looks off or repelling, chances are; a first-time viewer of your profile would not visit your profile again not to talk of checking out what you or your brand have to offer.
The Twitter banner, -also called an header image- is basically the long horizontal image directly behind your profile picture on your profile.
Serving a series of purposes ranging from aesthetics to marketing, having the correct banner size is key at ensuring that an important advertising avenue is not put to waste.
Twitter banner dimensions and recommendations
When attempting to create the perfect and coolest Twitter banner, there are certain guidelines you are expected to follow. This will ensure that your Twitter banner serves the right purposes and does not just take up precious space.
Thankfully, this article does just this, -recommending the correct Twitter banner guidelines- and more, – providing tips, recommendations etc-.
To create an efficient Twitter banner, you are expected to stick to a recommended banner size of 1500 x 500 pixels. You can slightly customize this size but you should maintain an aspect ratio of 3:1.
Having the correct Twitter banner dimensions does not automatically make your banner efficient, enough attention has to be paid to its design and incorporated elements.
A cool Twitter banner is expected to comprise of:
A call to action (CTA);
Your brand message/tagline;
A clear background or color selection;
Any important information you’d like your audience to see.
Your Twitter banner is expected to be no larger than 2mb and should be in the JPG, GIF or PNG formats however, they should not be animated.
When creating your Twitter banner, take cognizance of your profile picture and the dynamic scaling often carried out by Twitter.
Your profile picture often takes up space at the bottom left corner of your Twitter banner. The top and bottom parts of your banner also get cut out.
In essence, even though the recommended dimensions for a Twitter banner is 1500 x 500 pixels, you are advised to keep all important information constrained to a 1500 x 360 pixels safe area.
When creating your next Twitter banner, quality is key as a low quality image will often end up looking pixelated and unattractive.
This reflects adversely on your brand or personality as a poorly designed Twitter would do the opposite of attracting attention.
Tips for making a cool Twittter banner
Creating an efficient Twitter banner can be pretty easy and fun, this is because you are free to let out your creative side and just focus on making your Twitter banner an avid representation of what you have in mind.
When making your Twitter banner, make sure it correctly represents your brand’s personality, -either personal or corporate. A first time visitor to your page should be able to tell what your brand is all about after the first two or so glances at your Twitter banner.
Keep your Twitter banner simple, clean and minimalistic. A ‘too-busy’ design is difficult to process and thus fails to serve the purpose it was intended for.
A simple and straight-to-the-point banner conveys your brand’s message in an interesting and inspiring way.
Take the shoe giant, Nike for instance, they’ve managed to make a name for their brand in three simple words, ‘Just Do It’.
Consistency is also important when creating a cool banner. Try not to deviate from the style you’ve adopted for your brand. This means that your Twitter banner image should be consistent with your other social media.
This does not necessarily mean using the same colors or design, but viewers should be able to associate you with your other social platforms.
Be creative! Merely highlighting your core information is not enough, don’t be a boring brand, make things interesting yet simple.
To further optimize your Twitter banner, you can make an emotional appeal to the senses of your audience. This is one of the most efficient marketing strategies you can utilize.
For example, if your brand is on animal-shelter, you use pictures of animals in conjunction with your logo or slogan. This will invoke the emotions of your target audience and make them generally more responsive.
We’ve talked about Twitter image scaling and the need to leave space for the profile picture. You should put your most important and interesting information in the center of your Twitter banner to avoid it getting cropped out or covered up.
Focus on quality and general aesthetics. This is because your Twitter banner:
creates the first impression a would-be customer gets when checking out your profile;
is used to disseminate important information about your business/brand;
shows viewers what you have to offer them;
helps to achieve branding consistency;
can generate traffic to your website.
To make your profile look more authentic and visually aesthetic, you should color coordinate your Twitter banner with your profile picture. This helps to make your profile look cool and catchy.
One mistake most people make with their Twitter banners is using the same old pictures or formats everyone is using. Be unique, this will not only make you stand out, but also make your brand look more professional.
Now that you already have in depth information on the do’s and don’ts of Twitter banner images, here are a few examples of cool Twitter banners and why they actually work!
Twitter banner examples
First on our list is this simple yet efficient banner about business-to-business brands.
Incorporating only a few elements, -basically just a ‘B2B’ text and a few designs-, this banner ensures that the main message does not get cropped out or covered up by the profile picture.
The use of the blue color (passive yet not too loud), a centered text (that leaves no doubt about the page’s target audience) and the entire color coordination, are just a few of the reasons why this Twitter banner is so unique.
Following through is this minimalist design on exploring. Not one for lots of words, this Twitter banner chooses to utilize a background to compliment their main message.
The overall theme of this banner is a call out to the adventurous spirit lying dormant in every one of us.
The use of a CTA; ‘explore’ further confirms the purpose of this Twitter banner: to hold their audience’s attention and also shed more light on the account’s brand.
Remember when we said you can use your Twitter banner to disseminate specific information or advertisements? Well, this cool and unique Twitter banner does just that and more!
Taken from the official Netflix’s Twitter account, this banner promotes a new live-action series adapted from an anime called ‘Cowboy Bebop.
Conforming with every one of our Twitter banner recommendations, this banner keeps its most important information right in the center, makes use of a simple design and even tells a visual story that appeals to the emotions of the viewers.
You’ll also notice that the bottom left corner is kept vacant to accommodate the profile picture. All in all, this Twitter banner effectively advertises this show and we can’t all wait to see it!
Depicting simplicity at its peak, this Twitter banner -belonging to the official Microsoft Twitter account- makes use of no text at all.
Despite the textual absence, this banner still manages to be visually appealing and cool at the same time.
Staying consistent to their branding, the collection of flowers centered in the image is an almost-exact replication of the company’s red, green, blue and yellow logo. Thus, a first time visitor to the page already knows what the page is all about.
Twitter is definitely a key avenue to promote your business, and there are varieties of sizes at your disposal when it comes to image sharing.
Therefore, there are a lot of guidelines to keep in mind when working on Twitter image creation. These guidelines can be confusing or difficult to remember especially if you are not tech-savvy.
Fortunately, there are several online ad builders that can create the perfect optimized Twitter banner for your use.
Viewst is one example of reliable and trusted ad builders, offering extensive editing features, a huge collection of Twitter templates of varying sizes to choose from and a lot of other distinct features that will allow you to create quality banners with little or no prior designing experience.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What are the recommended Twitter banner sizes?
The recommended Twitter banner sizes are 400 x 400 pixels for profile pictures, 1500 x 500 pixels for header photos and 1200 x 600 pixels or 1200 x 1200 pixels for regular tweet images.
What are the supported Twitter banner formats?
The file formats supported for Twitter banners are JPG, PNG and the GIF formats.
However, as of now, Twitter does not support the use of animated GIFs as profile or header images. You can only post them as tweet images.
What is the Twitter banner safe area?
A ‘safe area’ on a Twitter banner refers to the areas that are visible on all device types. These are the areas that don’t get ‘cut off’ due to differences in device screen size.
On a header image, it is the area in between the top and bottom parts of the image, generally 1500 x 360 pixels. On a profile picture, it is recommended to center important information while for regular tweet images, refer to the specifications listed above.
How do you create the ideal Twitter banner?
It is easy to create a cool and efficient Twitter banner. All you need to do is follow the guidelines in this article or, for an easier and more professional approach, visit the Viewst website to gain access to countless Twitter banner templates with options for customization and a host of other features.
Victoria is the CEO at Viewst. She is a serial entrepreneur and startup founder. She worked in Investment Banking for 9 years as international funds sales, trader, and portfolio manager. Then she decided to switch to her own startup. In 2017 Victoria founded Profit Button (a new kind of rich media banners), the project has grown to 8 countries on 3 continents in 2 years. In 2019 she founded Viewst startup. The company now has clients from 43 countries, including the USA, Canada, England, France, Brazil, Kenya, Indonesia, etc.