Quick Twitter Bio Tip: Utilise Returns for a Better Layout

Twitter bird image
2019 update: I don’t think this trick works any more, but I wanted to keep the post up just in case…

Twitter addict? Personal branding important to you? Then this might be of interest…

I made a cool discovery the other day. You can use returns in your Twitter bio, which some third-party apps will honour. While it’ll look exactly the same in Twitter itself (as if it’s ignored it) and therefore seem like a completely pointless exercise, other apps show them, which means that you can spread out your Twitter bio across multiple separate lines.

This is especially handy for me as my Twitter bio looks a little messy because it contains a lot of brief one-liners with @mentions:

Twitter profile with no returns screenshot
In its default form it looks a little higgledy-piggledy, especially on Tweetbot for iPhone:

Tweetbot (iPhone) bio, no returns screenshot
As you can see, it looks like I talk about being a freelance SEO consultant, then something about MOM and Welsh ICE, and then I’m a member of something, and then State of Digital… You get the idea. It feels a little disjointed and hard to read, as the parts that are connected are on separate lines from one another.

Enter the ‘Enter’ key

But fear not, my friend, for you can add enters/returns to the bio of Twitter. Go to your Twitter profile, hit ‘Edit profile’ on the right, make your edits in the box on the left, hit the ‘Save changes’ button on the right, and you’re done. Nice n’ easy, no?

(Pro tip: I suggest using an enter and a space each time, just in case places that don’t honour it don’t show a space after the full-stops, therefore looking like this: “@Welsh_ICE member.@stateofdigital…”)

…And even with the returns entered, it looks exactly the same (on Twitter at least):

Twitter profile with no returns screenshot
Like, literally the same… to the point where I just reused the same screenshot instead of taking another one.

However this is how it should now look on Tweetbot (iPhone):

Tweetbot (iPhone) bio, with returns screenshot
Ooo, ahh, etc.

Tweetbot (iPad) – in fact I could consider separating the “Freelance SEO Consultant” and MOM link too if I wanted to:

Tweetbot (iPad) bio, with returns screenshot
And Hootsuite (iPad):

Hootsuite (iPad) bio, with returns screenshot
Truth be told I didn’t check anything else, other than the Twitter iOS app (iPad) and TweetDeck (desktop), which didn’t honour the returns. So it looks like anything that’s an ‘official’ Twitter property properly ignores it, but third-party stuff (such as Tweetbot and Hootsuite) do indeed honour it. If you spot any apps that do/don’t use it, let me know (via commenting below or tweeting me) please.

It may seem pointless, but it takes about 30 seconds to do and it does look a bit tidier in some instances, so… why not eh?

[Twitter bird image credit – Riku Lu]

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