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Twitter's new profile headers slammed

In issue 232 of .net magazine, we reported on Twitter seemingly becoming more akin to Facebook, as argued by Ben Popper for The Verge. Responding to .net at the time, social media expert Suw Charman-Anderson said: "The last thing that Twitter needs to be is 'more akin to Facebook', because people already have one Facebook and they don't need another." She argued the company had lost its way and also lost sight of what made it great in the first place, and that its website design has progressively gotten worse.

Today, Twitter announced all-new header photos, which appear to be rather similar to those Facebook introduced some months ago and that Google+ also uses. In Twitter's case, the argument for the introduction and inclusion of such images is to "make your presence on Twitter more meaningful", and to "help you get to know people better through their pictures," according to Product Manager Sachin Agarwal. The reality is the profile now takes up more space, forcing down tweets. Worse, Silktide founder Oliver Embarton argued Twitter's poor design potentially makes it harder, not easier, to discover more about someone: "Twitter is trying to ape Facebook's cover images without realising what makes them work. Slapping profile text over the image renders the text illegible and the image obscured. It's a total hash-up and I expect they'll redesign it within a month."