Twitter unveiled its most recent redesign changes on Tuesday, fancying up the website's profile pages in another nod to customization. The changes are largely cosmetic, focusing on image sizing, but the introduction of "pinned tweets" does mark a visual shift toward the Facebook profiles of old.
Several aspects of the new redesign have been rolling out over the past two months, mostly to select profiles, as we covered in February. They include a larger profile picture and a wider cover photo, as well as new sub-sections for "Tweets" and "Photos/Videos." Several prominent Twitter users (read: celebrities) have had these abilities for some time, including actress Kerry Washington.
The coupling of those larger images with a left-column profile picture has several tech sites likening the layout to the modern Facebook profile. Indeed, the larger images reflect Twitter's intent to become a bigger player in the photo sharing space. The site recently announced the ability to upload four photos in a single tweet, as well as the ability to tag photo in the background of images, instead of wasting space in the tweet itself.
But the introduction of "Pinned Tweets" and what the company calls "Best Tweets" appears to reflect more of the old-style Facebook, when profiles had a designated status next to their names (that frustratingly always began with "is"). Twitter's pinned feature allows users to stick a specific tweet to the top of their own page, and not be swept away by following tweets, similar to how the old Facebook status would remain in place. That pinned tweet functions much like a promoted tweet for your own page. That could be an away message, promoting your own website, or just a funny tweet that may be reflective of your online style.
In addition, tweets that get more engagement in terms of retweets, favorites, and replies will appear in bigger sizes. It's all part of a strategy to give your best stuff more prominence, instead of tweets being treated equally. You can see an example of that from John Legend's profile.