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3 Savvy Ways to Take Advantage of The New Twitter Image Sizes (You’ve Got To Try These)

  • 3
  • December 10, 2015

Well, Twitter is at it again and introduced yet another change to the platform this week. Twitter Image Sizes

Slow down, though.

Before you get your social feathers all ruffled, it’s not like they abandoned perfectly good stars for pink hearts or took away your share counts; this is a good change!

According to Twitter, they are “…making your twitter.com timeline more immersive by uncropping photos, so you can experience and present them as they were meant to be viewed.”

While it’s not exactly an image free-for-all (there are still limitations on size), this is definitely a step in the right direction.

So what does this mean for Twitter marketers like you?

Let’s take a look at three ideas to take advantage of the new Twitter image sizes formats and stand out with images on Twitter:

1. Get to Know the New Sizes (And Have Fun with Them)

Let’s start with a quick breakdown of the new Twitter image dimensions:

Square images are now displayed on desktop as 505 x 505 pixels. Larger squares can be uploaded but will still be displayed at 505 x 505 pixels. Smaller squares will be displayed per their actual dimensions.

Portrait images 505 pixels tall or less will be displayed full size with extra space to the right. Portrait taller than 505 pixels images will still be cropped.

Landscape images shorter than 505 pixels will remain unchanged; you’ll just see the whole thing now instead of the top/bottom possibly being cropped.

To take advantage of every pixel of space Twitter affords you, make your images square and at least 505 pixels wide.

Look at this picture Aaron Lee from Post Planner Tweeted:

twitter image sizes 2015

Now, if that isn’t some serious Morning Motivation, I don’t know what is. This time last week, however, Twitter would have cropped that image and the Tweet would have looked more like this:

twitter image sizes cheat sheet

Not nearly as powerful; is it?

But remember, just because you can utilize all this space doesn’t mean you have to. Any designer worth their salt will tell you that white space is your friend. Use it to emphasize the key element(s) of your image.

Check out how this vertical image uses white space combined with the increased display size to draw attention in a way we’re not used to seeing on Twitter.

twitter profile image sizes

This function can also be great for emphasizing inherently vertical images.

Something like – cough, segue – an infographic…

2. Post Images of Infographics

People love infographics. In fact, Tweets with that include the #infographic hashtag have a potential audience of over 2.4 million users per hour, according to RiteTag.com.

But instead of just relying on including “[#Infographic]” in your Tweet (even though you should definitely keep doing that), now you can do better!

By including the entire infographic as the Tweet’s image, even people scrolling through Twitter at ludicrous speed will catch that you’re sharing an infographic.

Because of the aforementioned 505 pixel height limitation, most infographics are going to be cropped. But they won’t be randomly cropped somewhere in the middle of the image as they were before this update.

Now when you attach the entire infographic in a Tweet, you’ll get a nice, thin image that starts at the top of the infographic, like so:

twitter background image size

That’s an image that will catch people’s eye as they scroll through their Timeline. It’s clearly an infographic and, again, this long, lean look is very different from images we’ve seen in the Twitter Timeline in the past.

Here’s where things get interesting when Tweeting full infographics. A lot of people are going to click the image, expecting it to get bigger so they can read the graphic. Instead, this is what they’ll see:

twitter image sizes large

At first glance you might think, “Oh that’s bad. That’s too small. No one can read that!” On the last count, you’re right. But that’s a good thing! Allow me to explain:

At this point, users are presented with a clear representation of a nice, big infographic that looks like it’s packing quite the bunch of valuable information (which it is), yet it’s still too small to read. But guess what? They know access to the full-sized image is just a link click away, and now they’re on your site where you can capture a lead or even make a sale!

3. Get Creative with Multiple Images

Being able to attach multiple images to a Tweet isn’t new, but the way they’re displayed just got fancier.

Instead of randomly cropping images down to fit together in a single Tweet, there are some hard and fast rules for the way multiple images are displayed.

Tweets with two images will crop both into 250 x 250 pixel squares. Tweets with three images will display the first image as a 340 x 340 pixel square and the other two as 165 x 165 pixel squares displayed on top of each other and to the right of the first. Tweets with four images will behave the same as ones with three, except the main image will be 380 x 380 pixels and the other three as 125 x 125 pixels.

Social Quant recently posted a Tweet with four images to promote its last three blog posts:

twitter api image sizes

Keep in mind that you can also tag individuals in each specific image.

So for this Tweet, a good idea would be to tag the author of the post in each of the blog thumbnails so they get a notification and (hopefully) Retweet it, especially if it was a guest post.free-twitter-ebook-1

And if you’re really on top of your Twitter game with lists segmented by specific interests, you can tag users you know will be interested in the content.

That’s just one example of how you might Tweet multiple images. Get creative and come up with some ideas that work for you and/or your brand. Now that you know exactly how it works, take advantage!

Summing Up

Twitter, like all of social media, is becoming more visual and if you don’t get on board, you will get left behind.

So what ways will you be using the Twitter image sizes? We’d love to hear about your ideas in the comments section!

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Author David Boutin

David is the Social Quant content Gatekeeper AND Keymaster, as well as a customer relations specialist. Follow and Connect with David on Twitter. 

More posts by David Boutin
  • Great article, and good news! I like sharing images because I always get a higher number of retweets and likes when images are included. I will be taking advantage of these changes to Twitter. I do have a question. How, exactly, do I tag people in specific images? I’ve never done it, as I generally credit the author within the tweet. Can you enlighten me?

    • Hi Daniel, glad you found the article valuable! When you upload an image it will ask you who’s in it and allow you to tag up to 10 people. In tweets with multiple images, you upload them one at a time and can tag all of them separately. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      • Thank you, David. I just tried out tagging. I don’t know why I never noticed this feature before! You learn something new everyday.

  • Nice one Daniel!

    I now know that you can share square images on Twitter! I didn’t know that was possible until now.
    This should change the way I post Tweets. Thanks! :)

    Will share this on Twitter.

    Regards,

    Benjamin

    • Thanks Benjamin and glad you found value in it. Thanks for sharing and visiting Social Quant. See you on Twitter.
      Mike

  • Always great to learn some new ways to get your tweets noticed, I will certainly be using these methods … thanks SQ

    • Always great to standout indeed :) Thanks for visiting Social Quant :)

  • Good to know!
    Just a doubt: are these rules for mobiles as well? Same proportions?

    • Hi Cristiana,
      Sadly, no, these changes don’t apply to mobile…yet. Mobile is still on the 2:1 ratio for images until you tap to expand.
      See you around the Twitterverse!

  • AWESOME article David. I’m going to do a thorough experiment to find out the change in engagement using the old image size compared to the new 505×505 px images. From a quick look at my tweets, there appears to be a significant increase in likes and retweets with the larger images.

    A tip I’d recommend if your image isn’t at least 505×505 px … Hop onto Canva, create a design with custom dimensions of 505×505 px, and simply add a thick, colorful border if you don’t have time to work on tweaking the image to work with the new dimensions. This takes a minute or 2, and you’re taking advantage of the larger image size that of course takes up more real estate in the Twitter feed and should lead to more engagement!

    • We love Canva and have heard great things about Canva for Work. Amazing company

    • Thanks, David! And great tip, thanks for sharing!

  • Nice post David! I will have to check out the new image sizes on Twitter. Great example with that morning motivation shot. Thanks for providing us with some great Twitter software as well.

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