Twitter working on better image previews and fewer cropped photos. Currently, tests are being carried out with a small group of Android and iOS users. As the users scroll down through the image preview without clicking, the latest update will automatically crop images and display them in a condensed manner on the timeline. The developers have constantly faced challenges trying to implement this approach.
Twitter has faced a few setbacks earlier with its algorithm when it decides which part of an image gets the focus. This was demonstrated to have baked-in racial bias where the algorithm prioritized white faces over Black ones in its image preview. In another test, it even cropped out the former president of the United States.
Photographers and artists are also finding Twitter’s automatic image handling inconvenient. Generally, these professionals prefer to have total control over how an image is presented. With a single crop off the entire photo can be ruined ie. It can turn a photo into attracting tons of people or getting ignored right away. It also ruins the Twitter experience as in one of the examples of a tweet about a dog, the dog was clearly missing from one of its crops.
Recent developments suggest Twitter is trying to work on a full images timeline. Twitter Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis in a tweet said, users testing the new image cropping system will find that most single image tweets in normal aspect ratios won’t get cropped at all. However, super wide or super tall images will get a crop weighted around the center.
There is good news for photographers who have been tired of toggling between Instagram’s preference for portrait-oriented images and Twitter’s insistence on landscape crops. The recent developments suggest Twitter with the simple image changes will offer a richer visual platform. This means users can scroll past images that occupy multiple tweets worth of vertical space. Instead, we can spend time clicking through the images on a pretty Twitter timeline.
Today we’re launching a test to a small group on iOS and Android to give people an accurate preview of how their images will appear when they Tweet a photo. pic.twitter.com/cxu7wv3Khs
— Dantley Davis (@dantley) March 10, 2021