Tips for Uploading a Twitter Avatar

Specifications, guidelines, and how to upload your avatar

Part of opening a Twitter account is choosing the image that serves as your avatar throughout the Twitter website. If you don't upload an avatar, your account displays a boring gray silhouette.

Accounts without avatars are often considered not credible because fake accounts rarely upload them.

Benefits of Using a Twitter Avatar

Your avatar plays an important role. It identifies your tweets to your followers and builds your brand. Usually, your best choice for an avatar is a headshot of you at your best. Still, it can be anything else, like a pet, company logo, car, or building.

Twitter requests two photos when you set up an account:

  • Header photo: The large image that appears at the top of your profile.
  • Profile photo: This photo is also called your Twitter avatar. The avatar adds personality to your Twitter account and posts.

If you didn't upload an image when you signed up for your account or are unhappy with your current profile image, upload a new avatar photo.

Your avatar appears in several areas on Twitter. You'll find it next to every tweet you enter, in the menu bar, in your account information panel, and on your profile page. Twitter handles the sizing of the photos automatically.

Twitter Avatar Specifications

Your Twitter avatar image must be a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file. Twitter does not support animated GIFs for profile images. If the image you want to use is in a file format Twitter doesn't support, put it through a free photo converter and choose one of Twitter's supported formats for the conversion.

Twitter profile images cannot exceed 2 MB in size and must be square. Twitter recommends 400 x 400 pixels for your profile image, but any square image will do as long as it's no smaller than 400 x 400 pixels.

If you plan to upload a square logo, leave space around the edges. The avatar appears in a circle on Twitter, and the corners of the square image won't show in the circle.

How to Change Your Twitter Avatar on a Computer

To change your avatar, sign in to Twitter on your computer and then:

  1. Select Profile.

    Profile on Twitter main page
  2. Select Edit profile under your header photo.

    Edit profile button on Twitter profile page
  3. Select Add Photo, which is superimposed over your existing profile image to open the screen where you'll select a new image for your Twitter profile.

    Add Photo button on Twitter Edit Profile Page
  4. Choose a photo, crop it to your liking, then select Apply.

    Apply button in the Edit Profile Picture window on Twitter
  5. Select Save. The image saves to your profile and appears next to your Twitter posts, both past and current.

    Save button in Edit Profile page on Twitter

How to Change Your Twitter Avatar on a Mobile Device

Here's how to change your Twitter avatar using the mobile Twitter app for iOS and Android mobile devices.

  1. Tap the Menu icon (the three horizontal lines) at the top of the screen.

  2. Tap Profile.

  3. Tap Edit profile.

    Menu icon, Profile, and Edit Profile in the Twitter app
  4. Tap the camera icon that is superimposed over your current avatar. You may be asked to allow Twitter access to your photos.

  5. Select a photo from your collection or take a new photo, position the image in the circle as you want it to appear on Twitter, then tap Use.

  6. Tap Save.

    Profile photo icon, Use, and Save in the Twitter app

What Your Twitter Avatar Should Look Like

Select a well-lit, high-quality image to represent you on Twitter. A casual selfie works best for personal accounts. A formal headshot or a company logo is suitable for a business account. Keep a few things in mind:

  • Some of the best-looking Twitter avatars have a solid background that contrasts with the user's face.
  • If you use Twitter for business, consider conveying a short message with one or two words or incorporate a telltale graphic element. A baker might hold a cake, and a web designer might showcase a logo.
  • After you upload an avatar, change it only rarely. When your followers see a consistent image over time, it builds your brand.

What Not to Use as Your Avatar

Don't upload a nude image for your avatar. Twitter will reject it. Twitter allows some forms of graphic violence and adult content in tweets that are marked as containing sensitive media. However, you aren't allowed to use this type of content in your profile image.

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