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Aug
15

Why Create A Custom Twitter Background?

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Some of you might ask: is creating a custom Twitter background worth the effort? While this is a valid question, and the final answer is up to you, there are a range of benefits to making your backdrop your own. Both the creative and the brand-conscious can (and have) benefited from unique background designs.

Here are a couple reasons for why you might want to build your own:

1. Personalization and expression: It’s a chance to express yourself and who you are. Are you an artist, a musician, a blogger, or a cook? Do you love Macs or the beach? A new backdrop can really help people understand who you are.

2. Contact info: It’s an easy way to add additional information you can plug into your 160 character bio.

3. Personal branding: Having your contact information, your face, or additional bio information within your background is a common practice. It helps potential followers understand what you do and why you are someone people should follow.

4. Artistic creativity: Twitter is a great opportunity to push the limits of your talents.


Some great examples of custom Twitter background designs


If you’re looking for some inspiration for your Twitter background, look no further. These are some of the most unique, most inspiring, and best-branded Twitter backgrounds around. There’s not enough time or room to showcase the thousands of great backgrounds that exist on Twitter, so be sure to check out some comprehensive lists and discover some on your own.

And remember: you don’t have to spend an obscene amount of time to make a great background. It’s all about making a background that’s perfect for you, not for anyone else.

Doug Cone (@nullvariable): Doug, a web designer and consultant, brilliantly integrates his face with his brand and contact information in this spacey theme.
CoolTweets (@cooltweets): CoolTweets, which collects, well, the coolest tweets on the web, gets an A for its simple and clean layout. Perfect for many brands.
CoolTweets Twitter BackgroundJustine Ezeraik (@ijustine): The popular new media star has a balanced theme that perfectly reflects her brand.
iJustine Background ImageKristi Colvin (@kriscolvin): Kristi, a favorite tweeter of mine, opted to create a beautiful mosaic of color and life. I could stare at it all day.
Kris Colvin Twitter BackgroundLoic Le Meur (@loic): No, it’s not that Loic’s background is the most amazing, most complex, or most visually appealing image in the world. It’s that his background reflects who he is – a smiling, personal, fun-loving guy…who also happened to found Seesmic. You just have to love the picture of him kitesurfing, too.
Loic Twitter Background

There are literally hundreds of great Twitter backgrounds. Part of the fun is discovering on your own.


Creating your own background: the basic requirements


Mashable Twitter Background

Now that you understand the reasons for creating a background and you’re feeling inspired, there are a couple of things you need to know about custom Twitter backgrounds.

First, you need to know how to actually change your background. This is a simple process: just go to settings, then design, and then click “change background image.” You can now browse your computer and add any image you’d like, so long as it’s under 800k in size.

Next, the actual dimensions. This is important because improperly-sized images can be covered up by your Twitter profile or can start to tile, which often leads to an undesired effect. In most circumstances, you want your background to be large enough not to tile. To achieve this, the total image size should be around 1600px wide by 1200px tall. This encompasses almost all screen resolutions.

If you build a left-hand column, popular on many Twitter backgrounds, make sure that it’s small enough not to be covered up by the central Twitter content – many designers suggest smaller than 200px or 235px. For more information on dimensions, check out Croncast and their numbers.

In the end, building your ideal background often requires trial-and-error.

Categories : Twitter News
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numbers1 With all the skepticism of whether it’s just a social media fad and questions about how the company expects to generate revenue, Twitter has left many critics silent by continuing to grow. Though the company has made some improvements, including its recent redesigned homepage, many wouldn’t credit these changes with the successful growth of Twitter.

It’s all about the people and how the service has been put to use by the millions. Whether using it during their everyday lives, marketing a business or reporting on tragic events, users have shown the value of Twitter and will continue to contribute to its growth. Below are just five reasons why Twitter will continue to grow. Please add your thoughts below in the comments, as well as other reasons you believe Twitter will continue to grow.


1. Consistent growth


The microblogging site reached 23 million unique users in June, according to Compete, which was a 16 percent growth compared to May. This doesn’t even include the millions that do not visit Twitter.com and instead use third-party services to update. The site has had a consistent growth, and we expect it will continue to do so for July numbers.

Twitter Compete Growth image


2. Gaining approval from big companies


According to PR firm Burson-Marsteller, as reported by Mashable’s own Adam Ostrow, Twitter is the social media platform of choice at Fortune 100 companies. The firm reported that 54 percent of the companies have a Twitter presence and for the companies that use only one social media platform, 76 percent of them use Twitter as their preferred choice. And if the big guys are using it, well, the smaller companies will do so as well. Oh wait, small businesses are already using Twitter. So basically they have the ground covered big and small. Either way, the complete results of the study are below:


3. Twitter is the number one most social brand


Twitter is the most active Web presence and generates most conversational volume on the Web, making it the number one social brand for July 2009, according to Social Radar. It was at number one in June too. Social Radar analyzes the Web to see what brands are mentioned most by unique sources. This includes blogs, other social networks, forums, etc. The analysis includes brands, not just social networks. Facebook is at number 4, with the iPhone and Google at number 3 and 4, respectively. Check out the full list for July here. The point is there is a lot of buzz out there about Twitter and people are continuing to talk about it, and it’s even becoming part of everyday language.

Social Radar image


4. Twitter receives millions in free media coverage


The media loves to cover Twitter and anything that relates to using the service. In fact, Twitter received $48 million worth in media coverage in 30 days, according to Ad Age, which also notes that the figure is about half of what Microsoft plans to spend on marketing Bing. So what amounts to $48 million worth in advertising? How about 3 billion impressions and 57 percent of that is from TV. These figures don’t even include the smaller newspapers that likely mentioned Twitter. The irony is that this very post is contributing.


5. Continued growth internationally


As news breaks, more users internationally are learning the value of using Twitter. Whether it is the protests following the Iran Election or the Jakarta bombings or the fact that the Chinese government felt they had to block Twitter during the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the site gets more users in those countries as the value of the service unravels during a time of need. Right now, about 55 percent of the audience is international, according to comScore. This number too will continue to grow.

Jakarta bombing twitter image


By: Vadim Lavrusik

Vadim Lavrusik is a new media student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is @lavrusik on Twitter and blogs at Lavrusik.com.

Categories : Twitter News
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