Twitter announced a major redesign for profile pages this week, which includes a new look and a number of new features for users to sort and find content.

Here are some of the changes to be aware of:

  • New Header Image: One of the most noticeable changes is the introduction of a header image. It spreads across the top of your profile page similar to the cover photo on Facebook or Google+.
  • Bigger Profile Picture: Twitter is also increasing the size of the Twitter profile picture. Twitter will resize your current photo automatically, but users may want to consider uploading a higher quality photo after the change.
  • More visibility for profile information: Twitter names, handles, descriptions, and links are all bigger and more prominent with the profile change.  It would be a good idea to review this information to make sure they’re updated and accurate. Unlike other social networks, Twitter users are likely to view other users profile often to learn more about them. Having an informative and accurate bio is essential.
  • Pin tweets: Similar to pinned posts on Facebook, users can now pin a tweet to have it display at the top of the feed on their page. This is a great opportunity to handpick the first tweet users see when visiting your profile.
  • Best tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find and more prominent.
  • New content filters: When visiting another user’s page, you will now be able to view content by: Tweets, Tweets with Photos/Video, or Tweets & Replies.

Bottom Line: With the redesign, Twitter has introduced a number of ways for businesses and organizations to showcase their brand and make a more meaningful impression when people visit your profile.

Continue to focus on sharing great content, and building relationships on Twitter. When people visit your profile, it will be easier to learn more about you, the content you share, and why they should decide to connect.

Currently, the new profile is only available to a select audience of Twitter users. The redesign will be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.

The Twitter profile redesign wasn’t the only top story this week. Here is a roundup of the rest of this week’s top stories.

Facebook tweaks algorithm to combat spammy content within the News Feed

Facebook announced a new series of improvements to its News Feed algorithm this week, which it believes will reduce the amount of spammy content showing up in your feed.

According to Facebook, the latest changes will impact three types of content:

  • Like-baiting: Facebook will now decrease the reach of posts from Pages, explicitly asking people to like, comment, or share. Facebook explains that this will not impact Pages trying to encourage a discussion among fans; only those frequently asking for engagement on pieces of content.
  • Frequently Circulated Content: This includes instances where the same photo or video is uploaded and shared on Facebook over and over again.
  • Spammy links: Facebook is cracking down on links that take people outside of Facebook, to web pages that are dominated with ads and other spammy content.

Bottom Line: As Facebook explains in its announcement of the latest changes, “The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time, so they don’t miss the stories that are important and relevant to them.

If you’re already focused on providing high-quality content that is relevant and interesting to the people you’re trying to reach, you won’t have anything to worry about. Continue to keep fans engaged in what you have to say, and you’ll be in the best possible position to be seen by your fans on Facebook.

To help, we compiled 5 tips to increase your organic reach on Facebook.

Twitter adds real-time, interactive notifications on web

In addition to its profile redesign, Twitter has also introduced a new feature that will allow users to receive notifications and respond to interactions on Twitter in a whole new way.

Twitter explains the new feature in a recent blog post:

When you’re logged in on twitter.com, you will receive notifications if someone has replied, favorite, or retweeted one of your Tweets. You can also receive notifications for direct messages and new followers. They’re fully interactive, so that you can reply, favorite, retweet, and follow right from the notification.

The notification feature will be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks. You can manage notifications within your Twitter Settings.

Bottom Line: Even for experienced Twitter users, navigating the site, keeping up with conversations, and responding to interactions in a timely manner can take a lot of time.

With the addition of real-time, interactive notifications, Twitter is simplifying the process and making it easier for business owners, who might not have a designated person to manage their Twitter profile, to keep up with all Twitter activity.

In case you missed it…

This week, we provided an update on Heartbleed, an internet security vulnerability in OpenSSL, which is used by many different websites and products to keep connections secure.

Heartbleed provides attackers the ability to steal subsets of a computer’s memory, potentially exposing the data that websites are trying to protect. This could include sensitive information such as the usernames and passwords used to access a vulnerable site.

Check out our latest post, to learn more and make sure you’re doing everything you need to do to protect your information. 

Have questions about any of this week’s top stories? Post them in the comments below.