This may seem like a strange topic for me to be writing about, but it is one that drives me crazy. Not all Twitter profile pics are equal. There are different types; some good, some bad. To start, let’s go over a few of the basic types of twitter profile pics: (please note: If I used your twitter picture on this, don’t hate me. I may very well love you, I just needed some evidence.)
The Standard Headshot
Pretty easy to explain. Just a plain old cropped in shot of shoulders and head. The face is clearly distinguishable, and I have the greatest chance of recognizing you in person if you use this type of photo.
The Full Body
The fully body shot on twitter is exactly what it sounds like. Head to toe. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure you have pretty feet. But you are overlooking a very important part of the Twitter profile pic: it is TINY. You get a roughly 50X50px area to show me who you are. At that size, your full body shot looks like a stick figure in the frame.
The Uncropped Shot
This one gets me every time. In case you didn’t notice, the image that shows up next to your name is square (you know, the shape with four equal sides). Yet, even with this very obvious fact, I still see people using images in their pictures that are not square. This results in a terrible crop that ends up showing me some random body part.
This is actually one of my favorites. This is not a profile picture at all. Rather, this is an every-day image of you that you have cropped to use as a profile pic. When this is done right, it can be beautiful.
The silhouette is an “artsy” shot of yourself in which you are completely unrecognizable. If you are really trendy, you probably even color shifted the images so your abstract-self is a different color.
The Buddy Shot
We get it: you love your wife. We love her too, but there just isn’t enough room in that tiny little picture for you to show everyone how much you care about her. To get back to the explanation, the Buddy Shot is the commonly seen shot of multiple people in the frame. Besides the rant I went on above, I see this used with a group of friends all the time. The problem is that it makes it hard to know which on of the people you are, especially if the people in the shot are the same gender.
The cartoon is the profile pic that doesn’t have a picture of you at all. Instead, it has a cartoon image of something else. This type of profile pic can be humorous, especially if the image you choose has some resemblance to you and your personality. The only problem with this, much like some of the others, is that you are not recognizable in the real world by this image.
Now that we have covered the basic styles, here are a few DOs and DONTs –
DO – Crop tight. We want to see your face so we can connect with you.
DO – Think outside the box. Some of the best profile pics I see on twitter are the candid shots that are out of the box.
DONT – Take the picture with a bunch of your friends.
DONT – forget to crop your image to a square.