It's been nearly a week since Twitter started allowing users to highlight a large image on their profile pages, but only some brands are using the feature. Brands such as Ford, Nike, and Starbucks are using it while other big names such as McDonald's and Whole Foods aren't. In the world of politics, neither the GOP nor the Democrats have fully embraced the option.
Accounts for the Republican National Committee, Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann Romney are using it. However, Republican VP hopeful Paul Ryan's @paulryanvp is not. On the left, the Democratic National Committee and President Barack Obama are not using the feature while First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are. The @Obama2012 account, which is dedicated to campaign "news, views, and answers to your questions," also doesn't include a header photo.
The new option allows users to highlight a large image that serves as a backdrop for their account description, and has been likened to the Facebook Timeline image. "Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android or twitter.com, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo, which appears above your Tweets, to express yourself instantly, anywhere," noted Twitter when it launched the feature on September 18. Because of the mobile integration, it appears that Twitter aims for users to update their headers on a regular basis with timely images and photos.
The header photo is displayed with an overlay of the Twitter profile image. Interestingly, Mitt Romney's and Ann Romney's headers take advantage of this by using a header that displays a full photo with profile images cropped from that same photo.
Both Volkswagen and Volvo have launched social media-centric campaigns in the U.S. recently. However, while the carmakers are using the header on Twitter, only VW is incorporating an image related to the campaign in its header. VW's "Smiles" campaign spotlights stories of its car owners on Facebook and WhyVW.com.
On the other hand, Volvo recently launched a Pinterest-focused campaign that employs the Twitter-ready #VolvoJoyRide hashtag, but the auto brand is not highlighting the campaign in its header; rather, the image features a closeup of a car dashboard.
Ford, often considered a social media innovator, is also using the new feature by displaying a photo of Ford employees.
In sports, the only big U.S. league using the header is the National Football League, just in time for the early part of the season. The NFL is keeping it simple with a photo of what appears to be either grass or turf.
Other big brands using the option include Starbucks and Nike. The beverage purveyor spotlights coffee beans in its header image, while Nike offers a touched-up image of buff men and women in football jerseys coupled with the phrase, "If You Have A Body, You're An Athlete."
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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