Twitter Profile Cards


I rarely use the web based Twitter site (favouring the features provided by API based twitter applications) but I have been noticing a few changes recently. One change that I spotted on Sunday morning that really interested me, so I decided to write this blog about it. I am uncertain of the formal name that twitter has given this feature but the way I would describe it, is as a user profile card.

On your timeline, if you hover over the name of of the person who tweeted the message or anyone who is mentioned in a tweet you will notice a little balloon/bubble appear. The aesthetics of this balloon/bubble is different depending on whether you highlighted the posters name or someone mentioned but the content is essentially the same.

Example of Profile Cards

Poster's profile card (left) | Mentioned user profile card (right)

When you highlight the tweet, you first get a quick summary containing username, full name, shortened user bio and some user options. From this you can then click “more…” which will display a lot more information. After clicking more, you pretty much get all the information that you would be able to find by visiting their profile; including their most recent tweet. The only information not shown would be any information that would be on their twitter background profile (if they have a background like mine) or any tweets that are not their most recent! This is more than enough information to save time by not having to load a whole profile.

Expanded profile card

Expanded profile card of a person you are not following

The grey bar at the bottom of the profile card is identical to the one you get the top of a user’s profile page when you go to see it. If you are not following the user (as in the image above) you are given the option to start following and a drop down list (the same as the one on the users main profile). If you are following the user the “Follow” button would change as it would if you were viewing a user profile. There is however one feature (which you would get on their profile) that you do not get with this profile card; you cannot add/remove the user from lists, however this is no great loss.

Profile card for a user that you are following

If the user’s profile is private and you are not following them you get the following message:

Sorry, this does not appear to be an active Twitter account

Profile Card of a protected user (Thanks to @parmi38)

This new feature makes it quick and easy to find out user-stats without having to visit profiles and would also be helpful when friends mention people you don’t know; you can highlight their name and find out a bit about them. Overall I like this new feature (although due to the fact I mainly use API it wont affect me) but share your views in the comments below.

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