This morning Twitter users around the world have to decide whether to switch to the new Twitter web design or keep the old-style header. The new header picture, which is also the main visual element on mobile devices, is splashed across the screen, making the background picture obsolete. In some cases the header picture works well as the new cover, but often needs tweaking to the new dimensions.
Institutional Twitter accounts for heads of state, governments and foreign ministries usually feature flags, buildings or both, while personal accounts of presidents and prime ministers obviously feature the account holder.
The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs @DFATDCanada has opted for collection of flags. The national flags also grace the accounts of the Colombian and Serbian presidencies @InfoPresidencia and @PresidencySrb.
The French government prefers pictures of their historic buildings. The @Elysee was one of the first profiles to swap to the new design. The French Foreign Office @francediplo proudly displays one of the many interior halls of the Quai dOrsay. The government building also graces the Polish Prime Ministers profile @PremierRP and the Greek Foreign Ministry has chosen a night picture of the Foreign Office @GreeceMFA.
Interestingly, the Swedish Foreign Ministry @Utrikesdep has chosen a picture of the inside of their offices, where staff is watching Foreign Minister Carl Bildt greeting Barack Obama on his recent state visit to Sweden.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry @valismin uses the new Twitter banner to promote the upcoming Freedom Online conference in Tallinn. Not surprisingly, the European Commission @EU_Commission promotes the upcoming European Elections on their profile.
Quite a few personal accounts feature the president or the prime minister working the crowd, as does Philippine President @NoyNoyAquino and the President of Honduras @JuanOrlandoH. Other show pictures of their electoral meetings such as Argentinian President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner @CFKArgentina and Costa Rica’s President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís @LuisGuillermosr.
The account of Irans spiritual leader Ali Khamenei @Khamenei_ir features a close-up of his hands, while the Colombian Foreign Ministry @CancilleriaCol decided to commemorate recently deceased Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez.
Whatever the cover picture, it is probably a good idea to change it regularly to promote events and different diplomatic initiatives.