Two weeks ago, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced the new Twitter design on NBC’s Today show. The new layout relocates profile pictures to the top-center of the user’s profile and adds the option for a new header image. Mobile devices are also affected by the change, so Twitter is recommending that brands adopt the change soon. Since Twitter only altered photo placement, everyone should be making the switch voluntarily, right? This isn’t a complete layout reconstruction like the Facebook timeline. Just a profile facelift.
Surprisingly, most businesses did not adopt the change within the first week. In fact, of the 100 companies on Interbrand’s 2011 Top Brands, only Samsung, SAP, Nike, Nintendo, Ford, Moet & Chandon, Armani and Starbucks made the switch by September 26th. Why? Perhaps company design or social media teams are all on vacation. Or maybe brands just prefer keeping their Twitter pages low-key.
A Twitter spokeswoman told Ad Age that advertisers with existing “brand pages” can still put selected tweets at the top of their Twitter page despite the design change for all accounts. Brand pages were implemented in December 2011 to help companies customize a banner and make a prominent logo and tagline. The promoted tweets at the top of a profile page highlight a tweet so visitors can see its content immediately. The new design allows brands to keep this feature, but companies are now urged to post more photos since they’re more prominent on the page.
Today, more top brands are making the switch. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have changed to the new format, improving their header with graphics from recent campaigns. However, brands such as Disney and Amazon have kept the old layout.
Despite the slow adoption of the new design, we can’t assume that brands are completely rejecting the upgrade. As with Facebook’s Timeline, it may be a gradual adjustment that will ultimately be mandated by the Twitter gods. Whatever the case, we hope to see giant photos, quotes, and logos at the top of our favorite brands’ pages soon.