Twitter has updated its recommended image sizes AGAIN. If you’re woefully behind on the latest Twitter updates, it’s time to catch up. Social media platforms are constantly evolving their algorithms and interfaces. Content creators and marketers need to be proactive and stay updated with the latest information.
Though a small element of the entire user experience, image sizes matter a lot on social media. The wrong image dimensions can result in ill-fitting or cropped content. Worse still, the target platform might reject your carefully-edited images if they’re not optimised for size.
In this post, we’ve compiled a Twitter image size cheat sheet with updated information for 2021. The guide covers all of the following and you can jump straight to the section you find relevant:
- Profile, header, and tweet image sizes
- Twitter Card image size
- Twitter ad image size
- Twitter Moments
The Ultimate Twitter Image Size Guide for 2021:
Profile, Header, and Tweet Image Sizes
Twitter has prescribed sizes and aspect ratios for header, profile, and post pictures. If you don’t follow the standards, your images can appear skewed, cropped, or lopsided, which shows your brand in a poor light.
To put your best face forward, follow these images sizes, specifications, and best practices:
In 2017, Twitter switched from square to round profile pictures. Now, the standard aspect ratio of 2:1 is no longer acceptable on Twitter. Your avatar should now follow a 1:1 aspect ratio. The recommended size is still 400px X 400px and permissible formats are JPG, PNG, and GIF. The maximum file size is 2MB.
Pro tip: Try to keep your profile picture consistent across all your social accounts to improve brand recognition. Also, refrain from using logos or quotes in your avatar. It’s best to use a full-face photo on an uncluttered background. Put your best face forward and experiment with different angles to get the most flattering headshot. Check out some good and bad examples of profile pictures below.
If you’re representing a business, a logo might be acceptable. Even then, influencers, entrepreneurs, and coaches/consultants should show their faces to add a human touch.
If you’re using a logo as your avatar, you need to be extra careful. Horizontal logos get chopped when fitting into Twitter’s circular placeholder. The same is true for square logos. You can work around this bottleneck by creating stacked images or shrinking images so that their edges are visible.
Twitter Cover Photo
The Twitter header is no longer responsive. Earlier it could be cropped in a hundred different ways, but no longer. Now, it will be a static device-agnostic shape. For banners, Twitter recommends a 3:1 aspect ratio, 1500px X 500px size, and maximum file size of 5MB.
Your banner image can be edited on desktops or mobile devices, but theme colours can be updated only on the Twitter website. Images can be in JPG, PNG, or GIF formats, but not animated GIFs.
Before we mention the optimal image size, we’ve identified some best practices you should follow to get flawless image-rich posts for Twitter:
- Don’t use third-party websites that claim to show how your image will be shown on different devices. Those hardly ever work.
- Test your image on as many devices you can get your hands on—desktop, tablet, and other mobile devices.
- Use a private account to test the images for your tweets before posting on your public account. The extra effort can save you loads of embarrassment.
- If you are hard-pressed for time, optimise your images for mobile, on priority. People generally access social apps via mobile devices and they almost never click to see full-size images.
- Twitter may collapse your image so that it fits in the stream. Ensure that you centre-stage important content so that it doesn’t get chopped off.
The ideal image size and aspect ratio are 1200px X 675px and 16:9, respectively. The maximum file size is 5MB for photos and animated GIFs. You can go up to 15MB if you’re posting via their website.
You can tweet up to four images per post. Two images will appear stacked side by side, both with an aspect ratio of 7:8.
If you’re posting three images in a tweet, one will appear larger (in 7:8 ratio) and the other two in 4:7 ratios.
Four images will be arranged in a 2X2 grid. Each image will have a 2:1 aspect ratio.
Twitter Card Image Size
Twitter generates a rich Twitter Card when you post a link having a featured image at the top. A compressed form of the image gets embedded in the tweet. You can adjust the positioning of the image so that captions are not trimmed when the post appears in-stream. Just like avatars, tweeted images don’t follow the 2:1 aspect ratio. Rather, they should fit 1.91:1 or 1200px X 628px dimensions.
Note that you cannot choose to create a Twitter Card. They are automatically generated if you’re posting from a website that has enabled the “twitter:card” property in their HTML.
You can use Twitter’s Card Validator to see a preview of your card.
Types of Cards and Their Sizes
- Summary cards: These cards display a thumbnail of the featured image, page title, author’s name, and brief description (up to 200 characters long). Images for summary cards should be 120px X 120px and not more than 1MB in file size.
- Media player card: A summary card with audio/video clips instead of static images is a media player card. The thumbnail picture should be more than 640px X 360px. Twitter-prescribed aspect ratios are 1:1 and 16:9. According to social media video specs, the clip size shouldn’t exceed 5MB.
- Gallery cards: These cards carry thumbnails of up to four pictures, along with a brief description of the linked URL. The description should not exceed 200 characters and the aspect ratio is the same as in-steam tweets with four pictures.
- Product cards: Product cards let you embed an image (160px X 160px or more), a description, and two other details (location, price, ratings, etc.) about the product. They are mainly used by retailers to redirect traffic to their websites. App vendors who want to highlight their app store ratings can also use these cards.
Twitter Ad Image Sizes
Marketers and entrepreneurs are using Twitter for lead generation and sales conversions. Twitter makes their lives easier by offering lead generation cards and website cards, which are also called “ads.” Like Twitter Cards, ads also have a visual appeal. They stand out in cluttered streams and encourage viewers to perform the desired actions.
We are not going to delve too deep into how these ads work. Instead, we’ll focus on the layout specifications you need to follow.
Image Size for Lead Generation Cards
Lead generation cards carry an offer, an image, a call-to-action, and an option to collect names and email addresses of users. The recommended image size is 800px X 200px. You can customise the call-to-action as needed.
Image Size for Website Cards
If your aim is to boost your website traffic, website cards are a great solution. They include a website’s banner image, description, and direct link. You can also choose from a set of pre-defined calls-to-action to be added to your ad. Twitter prescribes a size of 800px X 320px for website ad images.
Just like Instagram Highlights, Twitter lets you preserve your favourite tweets as Twitter Moments. You can build a collection of customer reviews, product collections, holiday pictures, and event launches, as Moments. Let us discuss how you can design and optimise your “moments.”
You can access Twitter Moments by clicking the More tab (denoted by a horizontal ellipsis) and then selecting Moments from the menu that pops up. Each moment is saved as a slideshow with a cover image. You can share your moments in tweets too.
To create a Moment, select “Create a new moment” from the Moments page. The “Edit Moment” page will open. There, you can specify a title and cover photo, and select tweets to add to your moment.
Currently, Twitter hasn’t outlined image sizes for Moments. This means you can include images, videos, and GIFs of varied sizes in a Moment. But in our opinion, the vertical 9:16 aspect ratio looks the best.
Moments are responsive; they change their orientation according to the screen size where they’re being viewed. Ensure that the cover photo is captivating. You can pick a picture from the Moment collection or upload one from your device gallery. A static image is better than an animated GIF or an image with captions.
You can modify a Moment’s mobile theme colour, delete or unpublish a Moment from the More button in the Edit Moment page’s header bar.
As promised, we’ll tell you the best practice related to Twitter Moments. It’s advisable to add only your personal tweets to your Moments. You must refrain from using second-party tweets to avoid copyright infringement.
A poorly-placed image can ruin the entire visual experience of your Twitter stream. By following the above specifications, your images will be optimised for the platform and create a favourable impression on viewers.