Archives for new twitter

Are you Verified on Twitter?

Are you verified on Twitter? Does it matter? Is it important?

For some people getting verified on Twitter is extremely important. Twitter verification is essentially a big blue check mark that says you are the real deal! It is Twitter’s way of establishing authenticity behind a well know and public persona. It is used for public figures, ie. politicians, celebrities, rock stars, etc.

Dexter verified on Twitter

The reason why this is important is because your name is important, especially if you are a public figure. Issues that people have in getting verified, and why it is important, are someone already claimed your name and won’t give it up, they are not doing anything with it, just cyber-squatting. Maybe they claimed your name to spam. Maybe they are just posing as you.

Your name is a brand. You have worked hard at getting name recognition and you should be able to reap the rewards, not some random person in cyber-space who doesn’t know you from Adam. What is even worse than someone squatting on your name is if they are spamming or misrepresenting you. Are they damaging the good name you have built? This is, of course, why Twitter started verifying to begin with. But many people have difficulty in getting verified, or getting Twitter to help them resolve issues of cyber-squatting or spam/misrepresentation. In fact less than 2% of Twitter users are verified, and there are way more public figures than 2%.

However, Twitter is no longer verifying accounts. Since the change to New Twitter, many verified accounts have even lost their prized check mark. Though support@twitter does say they are restoring them to their rightful owners.

The change to new twitter seems to come with the promise of a change to the verification system. Apparently the verification system was in its beta form and Twitter will be rolling out a new and improved system. Maybe this new verification system will make it easier to get verified.

You worked hard for name recognition and deserve to have that little blue check mark!


My Twitter Real Estate Value?

The idea of Twitter real estate has never been more salient as it is right now.  Twitter real estate is the space you have to customize your Twitter profile page.  It is the space you have to be able to individualize, personalize, identify, set yourself apart, and express yourself.  It is your space to work on your branding. Until a week ago, Twitter real estate had a pretty high value.  When you wanted to see someone’s profile, you clicked their avatar and it took you to their page.  On that page you would see the custom design of their choice.  This could sway you into following them.  It might send you to their website. Or it might simply give you a better idea of who they are as a person.

The New Twitter has reduced your available real estate to about 100 pixels, or 1.389 inches wide.  Yeah, not very wide. Actually it is less than half of what it was.  Before you had about 225 px, safely, to design and add content.

Now principles of real estate, if less land is available then the more it is worth?  The New Twitter figured out how to squash that too.

Now, not only is there less space, but they reduced the likelihood that anyone will even see your 1.389 inches of custom background.  How?  Good question!

New Twitter has reduced your visibility a few ways. One way is to see a custom background you have to have your browser window completely open (up to 1080px). According to Banyan Branch, your custom profile will only be visible to about 5% of internet users.  So assuming you have cleared that initial visibility hurdle, New Twitter gave us another one.  Though this is nice for usability, it is not so nice for showing off your design work.  Now, when you click on someones Twitter handle or their avatar, instead of going to their profile page, it opens up an abbreviated profile on the right.  This abbreviated profile does not show your custom backgroud.

So unless someone goes to your actual Twitter URL (ie. then they will not see your profile, and even then they only have a 5% chance.

Should you have a custom background? Yes.  The audience has been narrowed but not eliminated.

How to Make a Background for the New Twitter

New Twitter Background

The New Twitter has changed their interface.  While this makes usability better for a variety of reasons, it is rendering the old custom background useless.  Yes the backgrounds are still there, but effectively no one can see them.

The reason custom backgrounds are so important is that they allow you to incorporate branding with your social media activity. Unfortunately the change has rendered our beautiful branded backgrounds unusable.

Can you still have a custom background?

Yes!  Though they are not as important as they once were.  The new interface width is 1040px, leaving roughly 100px on the left for your branding. This is not a lot of room for design or information content.

Who will see my new custom background?

Not many people. Mobile devices will not see custom backgrounds at all.  If you open a profile from your stream, New Twitter now opens it in the right side bar instead of going to their profile page.  To see the full Twitter page you have to open your browser window all the way, meaning 1080px.  Not everyone browses this way and not everyone’s screen is big enough, or set up, to open a window that large.  Banyan Branch says that the full Twitter screen will only be viewed by an estimated 5% of Internet users.

How to Create a New Twitter Background?

Create a document that is 1980 x 1080 px.

Only 41-312 px will be visible.  41px are visible to all browsers and 312px are visible to 4.6%.  Best to keep your content to 41-108px on the far left of the screen.

When you are done, save it as a .png

The New Twitter backgrounds are not as valuable as the old custom backgrounds. Your real estate has been significantly reduced along with the visibility.  However, it is still important to have a custom background.  It still helps branding.  It still makes you look more professional and it can still drive business.  So don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater.  Keep a custom background, just boil it down to basics and make it clean and simple.

Angry at New Twitter

Angry Twitter Bird

As New Twitter rolls out there is a lot of anger being expressed.  I have to admit, I am a part of the angry crowd.  The elimination of the effectiveness of custom backgrounds seems like a minor issue, however it is one that is affecting many people.

Custom backgrounds are a great personal expression.  It is a way to make your Twitter profile represent you.  If you are a business, it is a great way to show your company information, product, services or team members.

Many of us have invested a lot of money or time into creating a custom Twitter background that we felt was emblematic of who we are as people, as professionals and as a business.

Ok, so lets look at this from a monetary perspective.

How would you feel if you just spent a few hundred dollars on a custom Twitter background and found out that you threw your money away?

Angry?  Yes.

How would you feel if you are making a living making custom Twitter backgrounds and you just found out that your profession was made obsolete overnight?

Angry?  Hell yes!

If you just designed a background for someone and their Twitter converted to New Twitter; will the client now ask for their money back? You did your job,  it is not your fault that Twitter just made it obsolete.

Angry?  OMG YES!!!!

What if you have been building brand recognition for a client with their custom Twitter background being central to their brand strategy?  How do you now tell your client that you have to rethink their entire brand strategy?

Angry? F*%K YES!

Rendering custom Twitter backgrounds obsolete has a much wider scope than just the frustration of not having your preferred background.  It is affecting people professionally and personally.

Are you New Twitter worthy?


The New Twitter is the center of a lot of discussion across the internet right now. It seems that whether you have or, don’t have the New Twitter, is being internalized as a popularity commentary.

Those who don’t have the New Twitter are crying out to twitter asking why? why? why?

Though we wonder if Twitter has some popularity algorithm to establish who is New Twitter worthy.  If you have the New Twitter, are you getting more Twitter love than if you are still operating on the “obsolete” old Twitter? Is it a comment on your Twitter presence or influence.

Alexa Tsotsi from Tech Crunch just wrote a post asking where her New Twitter was. In her post she points out that she is from Tech Crunch and therefore the Twitter popularity or influence meter is our of whack.

So though those of us who got the New Twitter early feel somehow special or chosen, the reality is we are not.  There seems to be no rhyme or rhythm to Twitters selection of who is New Twitter worth and who is not.  The main goal seems to be avoiding the Fail Whale.

New Twitter: No More Custom Backgrounds

New Twitter

If you follow the hash tag #newtwitter you will see many people complaining about their backgrounds. The release of the new Twitter had an interesting result.  Instead of people talking about the new Open API, or the javascript integrations and adjustments, they are talking about their custom backgrounds becoming useless.

Custom backgrounds are a way for you to establish individuality.  It is a way to build brand awareness.  It is way to deliver information that is not limited to 140 characters.  Public figures and businesses often invested money in the design of an custom background that would show their website, their product, their team members, and more.

Though you can still have a custom background, the new formatting on Twitter essentially prevents a custom background from being viewed. If you have a very large browser window, you may see a little bit of a custom design, but even with a fully expanded browser window most of the design will be greatly blocked.

Twitter users will now have to build their brand awareness or their public persona primarily by the content of their tweets.  Though I do not think this will change the way in which people tweet, it does re-emphasize the importance of your tweets and the relationships you build.

It is not how you look but what you say that matters.

New Twitter and the Death of Custom Backgrounds

Follow me on Twitter

The new Twitter is rolling out across the web.  People are tweeting the change on their profile as we each, individually, and selectively get chosen to transition.

Honestly, functionally, it is not that different.  I understand that there are a lot of technical differences on the back end when it comes to Open API, Javascript, mobile platform integration, among other developments.  But from a usability point of view, it has not changed that much.  Except for one big notable area: the backgrounds.

If you have a custom designed Twitter background then you might notice that you real estate has shrunken in Twitter has not changed the ability to have a custom background, but it has virtually eliminated the usefulness of it. For some tweeps this will be highly significant.

Many people use custom backgrounds as a way to have a mini website on their Twitter page.  It is used to convey business and contact information, show a network complete with Twitter addresses for people in that network, and it is used to convey a sense of personality and individuality.  People will display their photography, vector art, pictures of themselves, product images, business logos and pictures of themselves. It has become a method for social networking branding.

In many ways the elimination of the effectiveness of custom Twitter background is turning the focus back to relationships. Now what people will see when they visit your Twitter page will not be an extension of personal/professional/corporate branding, but it will be you and your interactions with your tweeps.

Back to basics…. it is all about your relationships!