Twitter is now testing an image option (opens in new tab) that will disable cropping on images that don’t have a 16:9 aspect ratio. The move is in response to years of criticism that large portions of images don’t appear in previews, often meaning that casual scrollers will miss the bigger picture (if you’ll pardon the pun).
This has proven to be particularly frustrating for artists who often share their works on Twitter, where it’s practically impossible to view full-sized portrait resolution images without tapping on the preview first. Instead, such images are awkwardly cropped and can lose valuable engagement because of it.
Twitter Support demonstrated the new image option in a tweet providing a side-by-side comparison for before and after the feature is implemented. In the second example, you can clearly see there’s a lot more to the image than initially meets the eye.
Now testing on Android and iOS: when you Tweet a single image, how the image appears in the Tweet composer is how it will look on the timeline –– bigger and better. pic.twitter.com/izI5S9VRdXMarch 10, 2021
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An artist's delight?
The updated format certainly makes the timeline look a lot cleaner, and being able to see the entire image in the preview should make for a much smoother Twitter experience – but there are concerns that the feature could be exploited by mischievous users.
Thankfully, Twitter’s thought ahead to some extent. Users trying to upload excessively tall images have been stopped from doing so, as the test only allows for images of standard, commonly used aspect ratios. So as much as you’d might want to, you won’t be able to upload the entirety of a Ted Lasso script.
It gets better for Twitter artists and photographers, too, as the social media giant is also testing 4K image uploads. You’ll need a pretty strong internet connection to make use of this, though, as uploading 4K images takes up considerably more bandwidth than lower resolutions.
After a slew of rather forgettable updates like Fleets and the nonsensical changes to how tweets are ordered on the timeline (showing top tweets instead of the latest tweets by default), it’s a relief to see Twitter take a step back and assess a feature that’s been grossly outdated for a long time.