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Six Ideas for Journalists’ New Twitter Header Image

Twitter announced yesterday it will allow users to further personalize their Twitter page with a header photo behind their userpic and bio.

The move is reminiscent of Facebook’s cover photo, but played a bit differently since it includes your info and short bio all centered over top of it. The header photos will apparently follow you and be visible even on mobile phones or tablets. Honestly, it’s not really something most users will look at, since many people read Twitter through readers or their phone or their own stream, but it’s another way to brand yourself to people following your organization or looking at your profile for the first time, so why not take advantage of it?

Here are a few quick examples to inspire you of how journalists and news organizations are already using the space:

@WashingtonPost


It makes sense the Washington Post went for a beautiful shot of one the most iconic of buildings in its city for both its cover and background. Notice how it still works with their background image of the same building. Are there any iconic landmarks in your town or that hold special meaning to your beat/background? Put them on display.

@NBCNews


This TV network’s main account puts its workspace on display in its cover photo, with a wide shot of the wall of TVs showing several shows at once. Every workspace is unique, so share your cubicle, desk or office (you may want to tidy up) with your followers.

@BreakingNews


Don’t want to detract from your profile, or just want something subtle? That’s OK too. Take a cue from this always-on breaking news behemoth and go for something solid. Keep it from being boring with a small watermark, or simple design like their pixelated world map.

@ElanaZak


This former 10,000 Words blogger and current Wall Street Journal social media producer didn’t waste time giving her new-media profile an old-media vibe with this photo of a stack of newspapers. What photos or objects do you have around that could help tell the story of who you are without detracting?

@IndyStar


The Indianapolis Star also took its profile old-school with a grungy black and white background drawn from its newspaper archives. That works with the star URL in the page background, down the side of the page. Dig in your archives for something unique or create a tiny collage of your clips/photos/designs etc.

@MarsCuriosity


This isn’t a news account, but in a fun take on the challenge. This robot that’s gone where no man’s gone before rubs in it by putting a fun photo of the surface of Mars as its cover photo. What amazing places have you been that would make followers see how adventurous (or lucky) you are? Consider using one of those.

Inspired to create your own? Just so you know, Twitter says the minimum dimensions of this image are 1252 by 626 pixels, with a maximum file size of 5 megabytes. Then share your new profile and ideas with us @10000words.

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