Tips for Uploading a Twitter Avatar

Specifications, guidelines, and how to upload your avatar

A smart phone with the login screen for the social networking apps Twitter

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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 proudly displays a boring gray silhouette.

Benefits of Using a Twitter Avatar

Your avatar plays an important role. It identifies your tweets to your followers and it builds your brand. Usually, your best choice for an avatar is a headshot of you at your best, but it can be of just about anything else — a pet, company logo, car, building — just name it (with some notable exceptions).

Twitter requests two photos when you set up an account: a header photo, which is the large image that appears at the top of your profile, and a profile photo, which 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 you are unhappy with your current profile image, upload a new avatar photo.

Your avatar appears in several areas on Twitter: next to every tweet you enter, in the menu bar, in your account information panel and, of course, 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 2MB in size and must be square. Twitter recommends 400x400 pixels for your profile image, but any square image will do as long as it's no smaller than 400x400 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.

What Your Twitter Avatar Should Look Like

Select a well-lit, high-quality image to represent you on Twitter. A casual headshot works best for personal accounts, while 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, or a web designer might showcase a logo.
  • Once you upload an avatar, change it only rarely. When your followers see a consistent image over time, it builds your brand.

How to Change Your Twitter Avatar on a Computer

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

  1. Go to your name or current profile photo at the top of your Twitter feed and select Profile.

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

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

    Change your profile photo button on Twitter
  4. Select Upload photo to choose and upload the picture that you want to use for your avatar.

    Upload photo button on Twitter profile page
  5. Adjust the position and size of the profile photo, if needed, then select Apply.

    Apply button on Position and size your photo page
  6. The image is saved to your profile and appears next to your Twitter posts, both past and current, immediately.

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. Open the Twitter app and select your current avatar at the top of the screen.

  2. In the menu, select Profile to open your profile.

  3. Select Edit profile.

    Three iOS screens showing Profile avatar, Profile button and Edit profile button on Twitter
  4. Select 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 select the camera icon to take a new photo.

  6. Position the image in the circle as you want it to appear on Twitter.

  7. Select Apply.

    Three iOS screens showing camera icon, photo chosen, and Apply button
  8. Edit your image with the tools at the bottom of the screen. When you're done, select Done.

What Not to Use as Your Avatar

Don't bother uploading 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.