Twitter is primarily about text and links. But in recent years they’ve also been adding more visual elements directly into the core Twitter service. So there are now several ways you can use photos and images directly in Twitter without resorting to third-party extensions, as you used to have to do.
There are several places where you can use images on Twitter, including the header photo (also known as the banner image), your profile picture, thumbnail previews for links, and sharing images directly in the feed.
Twitter’s current layout gives some different options for displaying images. I’m focusing here on display in web browsers. The Twitter mobile app is more of a controlled universe with less room to move in terms of image layout. But any of the size recommendations here hold true for the mobile app as well.
Twitter’s web interface is designed to be responsive, which means it fluidly adjusts for different displays, and it’s flexible enough to deal with desktops as well as mobiles. But while there are some specific guidelines in terms of dimensions to use, it’s also a bit trickier than it might seem at first.
So here are some recommendations for making the most of your Twitter header photo and profile picture. Starting with the header photo . . .
Twitter Profile Image Sizes
The profile picture is the smaller image at the bottom left. It’s usually a photo of the person or a logo. It’s now displayed as a circle with a white rim.
Your profile picture is the first thing people notice when visiting your Twitter profile. It should represent your brand or personal identity and be easily recognizable. The recommended size for a Twitter profile picture is 400×400 pixels, with a maximum file size of 2 MB. The image will be displayed as a circle, so ensure that the essential elements of your image are centered.
For displaying on a desktop browser, it uses what’s called intrinsic CSS sizing, which basically means that the image fits within a container. In this case, the container is 400 pixels by 400 pixels. It’s cropped to a circle automatically.
The recommended sizes to upload are:
Profile picture: 400px by 400px. It’s displayed as a round image with a thin white border. If you upload an image that’s not a perfect square, you’ll be given the option to reposition the image when you go to change it.
When the browser window resizes, the profile picture size stays constant.
Twitter Header Image Sizes
The header image, also known as the cover photo, spans the top of your Twitter profile. This image is an opportunity to showcase your brand, convey a message, or set the tone for your account. The recommended dimensions for a Twitter header image are 1500×500 pixels, with a maximum file size of 5 MB. Keep in mind that the header image may be cropped differently on various devices, so place crucial elements towards the center of the image.
I have a more detailed post on Twitter banner size, but here’s the quick version:
- The ideal dimensions are 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall.
- File types you can use: JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated), WebP
- Files should be under 5MB
That seems easy enough, right? Well, it is and it isn’t. Those 1500px by 500px images will generally work well, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to work perfectly in every case. That’s because of the way Twitter displays the header photo.
The overall dimensions work well, but the placement of elements within the frame can be a bit more complicated, because there are some extra considerations to factor in.
- Avoid the profile picture. The profile picture is the circular image at the bottom left. It overlays the banner image and will obscure anything there.
- The top section can be obscured on some mobile devices, so avoid putting any important text or visual information along a thin band along the top of the header image.
- The display size is reduced, so avoid small text or fine detail that can get lost at smaller display sizes.
Retina and High-Density Displays
Twitter’s images don’t factor in retina or high-density displays on the desktop view. So uploading an image that’s twice the size doesn’t end up with a crisper result.
Image File Formats
You can upload JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated), and WebP files. They’ll be compressed and converted to JPG automatically.
The file should be under 2MB in file size.
Twitter Feed Images
There are a couple of different ways you can include images on your timeline.
If you manually add an image to a post, the image is displayed to fit within a square box that’s 506 pixels wide and 506 pixels high.
If you add an image that’s in horizontal orientation (ie. landscape orientation, or wider than it is tall), it will display the whole image and scale it down to 506 pixels wide. Here’s an illustration using a wide panorama:
If you add an image that’s vertical (ie. portrait orientation, or taller than it is wide), it will fill the width but crop equally from the top and bottom of the image to fill a square. Here’s an example using this image:
It displays on the Twitter timeline like this:
In both cases, all of the corners are rounded automatically with a border radius of 12px.
Twitter Card Images
Twitter cards allow you to attach rich media, such as photos, videos, and website previews, to your tweets.
For optimal image display, use dimensions of 1200×628 pixels with a 1.91:1 aspect ratio. The maximum file size for Twitter card images is 1 MB. These images will be cropped to fit within the card, so ensure that crucial elements are visible within the cropped area.
Twitter In-Stream Image Sizes
Twitter’s in-stream images are the visuals that appear in your tweets. These images can greatly enhance your content’s engagement and shareability. The recommended dimensions for in-stream images are 1024×512 pixels. However, Twitter will automatically resize and crop images to 506×253 pixels on desktop and 440×220 pixels on mobile. To avoid losing any essential elements in the cropping process, maintain a 2:1 aspect ratio for your images.
Twitter Image Quality Issues
When you upload, Twitter applies some very heavy JPG compression to your images. They do this to make the website as fast as possible for users and to conserve bandwidth.
The effects are particularly noticeable with the Profile Header image. The upshot is that the image that gets displayed might not look as good as the one you uploaded.
There are some things you can do to minimize the effect of that and reduce the chances of unsightly JPEG artifacts.
Firstly, upload an image with little or no compression. Every time you save a JPG image, you lose quality. That gets compounded the more times you do it.
If you’re saving an image from something like Photoshop or GIMP or any other imaging software, use the highest setting you can (e.g., a quality setting of 10 or 100%). Twitter is going to crunch whatever you send anyway. Starting with the highest quality version will help. You can even upload a PNG-24 if you want (although JPG is usually a better bet).
Secondly, because of the way JPG compression works, images with lots of different tones and smooth gradients are going to get hit especially hard. A rule of thumb is that images with fewer colors and fewer gradients suffer less from aggressive JPG compression.
Text, Logos & Watermarks on Twitter Profile Images
The heavy JPG compression applied to the images you upload does some pretty ugly things to text, logos, and watermarks. Here’s an example, a 100% crop from one image with a logo that I experimented with. You can see the very noticeable JPG compression artifacts surround the letters as well as some clear banding in the natural tonal gradient of the blue sky.
Again, to minimize the problem, aim for simple. Clean, high contrast lines and fonts are going to be less of a problem than subtle, complicated lines and fonts with things like partial transparency and drop shadows, etc. Sans-serif fonts will often work better than serif.
The old Facebook workaround of using a PNG-24 image doesn’t work on Twitter because Twitter converts everything to JPG.
And if you’re putting your logo or other text on the image, don’t put it at the very edges of the image where they’re likely to get cropped off in some browser displays. The safest zone of Twitter’s new profile header image is the center. The closer you can keep it to there, the less chance there is of it being cropped out with different web browser display sizes and aspect ratios.
There’s also a good reason not to include text or logos in the cover photo. The same cover photo is used for mobile apps like the official Twitter app. When it’s displayed in that, your Twitter profile picture and handle are automatically overlaid over the center of the cover photo, so it would obscure any logo that’s there. If you want to include a logo, putting it as the profile picture might give you better results across different displays.
Tips for Optimizing Twitter Images
- Use high-quality images: Clear and crisp images will create a better impression and increase the likelihood of engagement.
- Be consistent with your branding: Use colors, fonts, and visuals that align with your brand identity to create a cohesive online presence.
- Test on multiple devices: Ensure your images look good on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices, as your followers may view your profile from various platforms.
- Opt for accessibility: Include alternative text for images to make your content more accessible to users with visual impairments. I have a more detailed post on making your Twitter images more accessible here.
Other Twitter Image Sizes
There are, of course, other areas of Twitter where you can use images. Here are the dimensions of some of the core ones:
- Profile Picture: 400 x 400 pixels
- Website Card: 1200 x 628 pixels
- In-stream Photo: 440 x 220 pixels
- Twitter Ad: 1600 x 900 pixels
- Twitter Post: 1600 x 900 pixels
- Twitter Video: 1600 x 900 pixels
- Twitter Banner Size for Events: 1500 x 500 pixels
What are the best image formats for Twitter?
Twitter supports JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats for images. However, JPEG is the preferred format due to its smaller file size and faster loading times.
Can I use animated GIFs on Twitter?
Yes, you can use animated GIFs on Twitter. The maximum file size for animated GIFs is 5 MB for mobile devices and 15 MB for desktop devices.
How can I add alternative text to my images on Twitter?
To add alternative text to your images, click on the “Add description” button when uploading an image. This will open a text box where you can enter the alternative text.
Why is my Twitter header image blurry?
Your Twitter header image may appear blurry due to the platform’s compression or resizing process. To avoid this issue, make sure you upload a high-quality image with the recommended dimensions of 1500×500 pixels. Also, save your image in the JPEG format, as it offers a smaller file size and better compression quality.
How can I change my Twitter profile picture or header image?
To change your profile picture or header image on Twitter, follow these steps:
1. Log in to your Twitter account and navigate to your profile page.
2. Click on the “Edit profile” button located below your header image.
3. To change your profile picture, click on the camera icon on your current profile image, and upload a new image from your device.
4. To change your header image, click on the camera icon in the top-left corner of your current header image, and upload a new image from your device.
5. After uploading your new images, click “Save” to apply the changes.
- An Image Resizer for All Your Social Media Channels. And It’s Free!
- Mastering Twitter Banner Sizes: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Profile Header
- How to Make Your Twitter Photos Accessible to Visually Impaired Users by Adding Image Descriptions
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48 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Twitter Image Sizes and Layouts: Boost Your Social Media Presence”
Super helpful post.
I am struggling to get my twitter banner without having the top cut off & tried several size reduction & compressing. Why does twitter make it so difficult.
Thank you for sharing this information. I’m new to Twitter and it helped a lot!
I only tweet photographs. I just need information in terms of what are pixel dimensions that I have to crop my images to for tweets. I do not have a problem with my header/profile area. I just want optimum sizes for portrait orientation and for landscape orientation. Thank you.
The maximum display size is 1024 x 512. The ideal for displaying the whole image in users’ streams is to crop to 2:1 aspect ratio.
I have too this problem, did you figure it out?
I think it’s BS, I have cropped ans saved my image to 1.5′ height x 1.68 width and it still looks like my image has not changed when I upload it to twitter….I have used inkscape and publisher same outcome F$%^ twitter!!!
It worked! What a relief. Thank you, David Coleman.
I found that using a 50px border within the 1500×500 gets me the finish I want
Thank you for the twitter image size help!!
Rachel’s advice saved my sanity – thanks!
This should work for those still having problems: Make your document 1903px (width) by 605px (height) and then place your 1500px x 500px within that dimension. This will create a border around your image with 201.5px left over on each of the sides and 52.5px remaining on the top and bottom. This will insure your image is not cropped when uploaded to Twitter.
your advice has been the only one so far that has resulted in a decent less pixelated image! it’s strange because you read all of these posts and it clearly works for the author but when i try it makes little difference. So much rage for Twitter just give in and get Facebook’s header!
Worked for me as well. I used a cropped version of our FB header, just had to change the background colour to one matching our corporate colour.
Thank you, saves my time
Thank you for the tip, saves my time
tx !!!! Finally all my bottom and top can show ! tx!
Thanks a lot, as per your advise 1903px (width) by 605px (height) works however it perfectly works when you place your image at 1820px x 480px within that dimension. And there you go!
omg, i love you. if one more “social media expert” says 1500×500, i’ll punch a baby.
What is the breakdown of dimensions? Meaning I want to design a header but need to know exact layout positions, something like wht facebook has specified here https://www.facebook.com/PagesSizesDimensions/
I created the overall design but I need to lay all the elements withhin the design. My design followed the max dimensions 1500×500 you mentioned but then I came across another template here
Now I don’t know which to follow which is why I needed the breakdown for exact placement. Any help appreciated.
No matter what I do , and I’ve tried everything, I cannot resize our logo so that it fits the Twitter profile box. When I press upload, nothing happens at all. I’ve tried every size and every social media resizer website available. When I check the logo’s properties, it says 400 x 400 which I gather is the write size but it’s not working and I can’t think of anything else to do!! any ideas?
Have you tried Microsoft Publisher? I laid our logo in a 4-inch square, then saved as a jpg at 150 dpi. Upload was seamless!
If you don’t have Publisher, PowerPoint might also work.
You shouldn’t use powerpoint or publisher to create logos!
Very helpful. Thank you.
I tried to upload twitter cover page many times with dimensions (1500px – 500px). But twitter didn’t showed my full cover page.
Please help me with this.
Any tips on avoiding jpg artifacts in the profile picture? I save my file in high quality in a resolution like 1500 x 1500, but it looks terrible. Should I upload my picture in 400 x 400?
We were having a problem with a header image..and I followed some of your advice and it looks much better. However, you should tell people to Upload a JPEG file instead of PNG. I first used a PNG and it looked terrible. The JPG is much better even if not as good as the original file uploaded. Thanks for the article.
You can have a look at it here: https://twitter.com/SciLifeLabPrize
This is correct. It appears as though twitter doesn’t apply compression to images already in jpeg. My high quality png’s kept getting nixed so i switched to jpeg after your suggestion and it worked great.
thanks for the tip man :D
I have tried the mentioned size, 1500500 and 1263421 for my Twitter header but everytime the image is getting cut by twitter and I am not able to see the complete image. Any ideas?
You can try making the image slightly bigger and/or adding a frame to the picture using some sort of editor in order to get the parts that you want shown to appear. In other words, Twitter will cut no matter what, so by adding content to the said header picture (while keeping the desired content within the image at the same size), you may find a way around it.
Putting a white hairline ruled box around the logo was the answer. Had to exaggerate the box size until it worked.
Had the same issue but figured it out. If you make the image exactly 1500 x 500 Twitter will not resize it. I had to add a background to my image to do this, but it works
Thanks for the tip!
Making the image 1500×1500 did not work for me. The image is just as blurry as before. Any other suggestions?
Thanks! That worked for me as well! :D
Thanks so much for your very smart suggestion.
why do these companies not implement normal web standards for images? On a website, I can use PNG and animated GIF no problem. On Twitter (and eBay), transparencies go black or worse. On Facebook, PNG is fine, but GIFs don’t work.
GIF has been around since the 1980’s!!!
PNG has been around since 1996!!!
I know that in theory it about browser compatibility, but seriously, I think the last browser that had a problem with PNG was IE6, which dropped out of popularity at least 7 years ago. My last phone before smartphones could render a PNG or GIF. Every smartphone ever made can handle both of these. My 10 year old PDA can handle them running Windows Mobile 2003 SE.
I’m not having an issue with compression, I’m actually having the opposite effect. When I upload my profile image, which is a bit smaller than the recommended size, not by much though. It blows the picture up and only gives me the option to skew it bigger, not smaller, making it impossible for me to upload exactly what I want. Please Help.
Have you tried resizing the image before you upload so that it’s the recommended size? The more control you can exercise before you upload, the less you’ll have to rely on the automatic quirkiness of Twitter.
If you’re deliberately trying to keep the image smaller than the recommended size, you could also try increasing the canvas (ie. adding blank borders) so that the actual image size fits what Twitter is looking for.
I have resized (smaller) 4 times, the image in Twitter is still too big and you can only go bigger. Why no choice to make it show smaller? thank you
Im having this problem too, did you figure it out?
I was in this bind too. Finally, I tried laying out our profile image (a logo) onto a 4″ square in Microsoft Publisher, then saving it as a jpg at 150 dpi. Worked great!
very helpful thanks
I uploaded my twitter cover photo as a PNG and it looks perfect. No compression whatsoever. My only problem is the amount of cropping. I seem to have the opposite problem because I can’t upload that same photo as my FB cover without heavy compression, even as a PNG it looks very blurry and pixelated.
Glad the Twitter one is working. With the Facebook one, are you uploading at the final size? The less resizing and converting you leave in the hands of FB’s image cruncher the better.
Thanks for the tips. I’ve worked out my cover photo to look great on a desktop, and to fit perfectly on a mobile device, but the text overlay on mobile devices is driving me crazy! My profile image, name, handle, tagline, city, and website all appear as text on top of my cover photo, making it nearly impossible to read the actual text in my photo. I’m wondering if I should delete that info and let the photo do the talking, but then I fear that info won’t be available on other pages or in SEO for searches. It seems like any graphic you use should have a blank or muted center so as not to compete with the text overlay. What do you think?
Yes, unfortunately the resizing is a bit tricky. I’ve not found a real solution I’m happy with yet. It’s easy enough to confine the text to the safe zone, but then it looks too small and a bit odd at full crop. But if you make the text any larger, it gets cropped out. For the moment, I’m skipping text and logos on it, but I’ll keep experimenting.