How to optimize images for Twitter

When it comes to crafting social messages for a brand, some of the best ways to get attention involve elaborate campaigns and witty repartees. But what’s often overlooked are images – especially the ones that convey what a brand stands for.

Over at Sprout Social, Kevin King writes about what it takes to ensure an image fits with the social network it’s being posted on. That means using the right image size, as well as the right image type.

For example, Twitter is one of the most oft-used social networks out there, so it’s important for marketers to make sure their images will work when they’re tapping into that platform.

Profile pictures need to be 400 by 400 pixels, and they also need to be in the highest quality format available as these are the photos people will see most often when searching for this brand. These are the photos that also appear next to other users’ streams, telling them who to follow, so they need to be recognizable. The image must be square, with a file size of up to 100 KB, in either JPG, GIF or PNG format.

Brian Jackson's profile on Twitter.
Brian Jackson’s profile on Twitter.

Twitter also recently added a feature allowing users to upload header photos. These stretch above a user’s profile photo and Twitter stream, and their dimensions need to be 1,500 by 500 pixels. Because of its sheer size, the image needs to be as crisp and at the highest resolution possible – and it also needs to be something eye-catching that a viewer will be drawn to. The maximum file size for these images is 10 megabytes, and they can be in JPG, GIF, or PNG formats.

And for photos that appear in streams – for example, that accompany tweets – marketers should use photos at a minimum size of 440 by 220 pixels, and at a maximum size of 1024 by 512 pixels. As Twitter may collapse photos into smaller versions of 506 by 253 pixels, to make them fit into users’ streams, marketers need to ensure their images are horizontally centred and that the width fits Twitter’s minimum requirements. The maximum file size for these pictures is five megabytes for photos, and three megabytes for animated GIFs.

For more image optimization tips for other social networks, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, check out the full post on Sprout Social.

Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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