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