Updated Twitter Profile Picture Dimensions

Use the right size and type of photo to get the best results

Twitter : Illustration
Chesnot / Getty Images

Every social media account benefits from a profile picture, and Twitter is no different. The mood you set in your profile photo can set the tone for your entire feed. No matter how much quality information or witty repartee we send out into our social networks, first impressions are almost always visual.

To that end, you've got to create the right sized image or you're effectively sabotaging yourself with a stretched and pixelated profile photo that’s no better than the default Twitter egg.

Optimal Twitter Profile Picture Dimensions

Michelle Obama's Twitter profile page

Twitter changes its optimal profile picture dimensions from time to time.

The only thing that Twitter doesn’t change is the shape of your profile photo — a square. And in that regard, one thing you can always count on when formatting a photo for Twitter is that a large square image can always be cropped down to a small square image — the format that Twitter uses. That shape hasn’t changed, so start large and use the following dimensions as guidelines for how many ways your profile image will be displayed.

  • 500 x 500 pixels: This is as large as your photo will be shown. But, if you upload an image smaller than 500 pixels by 500 pixels, it will show up at the smaller size, it won’t stretch to make it bigger. The only time you’ll see the image at this size is when a web visitor clicks on your profile photo from your profile. Depending on your browser, it may open in a full-sized blank window, or it may pop up.
  • 73 x 73 pixels: This is the second largest size that your Twitter profile photo will be displayed at, and is displayed on your profile page above your bio.
  • 48 x 48 pixels: These are the dimensions at which your profile photo will be most commonly seen in your feed. Whenever you Tweet, the profile photo that shows up next to your Tweet will be at these dimensions.
  • 31 x 31 pixels: This is the smallest you’ll see your profile photo and it’s only visible to you. This mini-version of your profile photo only shows up when you are on your “Home” screen.

Tips for Optimizing Your Twitter Profile Photo

A good photo sets a good first impression.

  1. Start with a good quality photograph. You have to put something of quality into the equation in order to get quality out. So, make sure you're starting with a high-quality image at least 500-by-500 pixels in size.
  2. Optimize images for the web. If you don’t, Twitter will do it for you by reducing the file size of your photo—decreasing its quality down to 72 pixels per inch, which is standard for web images.
  3. Think of your image cropped into a square. Twitter will ask you to crop your image into a square, so if you are using an image that’s better left for a landscape, you may want to choose a new photo.
  4. Select a photo that stars you, not your collar. After you've selected a quality image, make sure that it's cropped to put your face right in the center because other objects will cause a distraction.
  5. Optimize your header image. Twitter also has a Twitter header image, which is displayed directly in your profile photo. The size that Twitter asks you to upload is 1252 pixels by 626 pixels. This image fades to black because your Twitter bio is placed on top of it. You can also upload a background image if you want.

The Importance of Images

When you log in to Twitter, you won't see as many images as you do on Facebook and Pinterest. But that's part of the power behind Twitter anyway—it puts messages front and center. Your profile picture, however, is the first thing someone will look it.

There's not a great deal of real estate, so your Twitter profile pic has to speak for itself. And in order to accomplish that, you'll have to size your image in a way that not only conveys a message but also is optimized for the platform.