Twitter will no longer downgrade the quality of your JPEGs in tweets

(Image credit: Natee Meepian /

Our favorite microblogging site is evolving and, from now on, is changing the way it processes JPEG image files that are uploaded to the platform in order to better preserve their quality.

Twitter engineer Nolan O'Brien has announced – via a tweet, of course – that from now on, JPEG encoding will be preserved in images that have been uploaded via the web interface.

Before this, JPEGs were transcoded to 85% JFIF quality if the file was of higher quality, thus degrading them, something that has annoyed many creative users. 

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However, there are some caveats still: previews and thumbnails (aka what you see on your Twitter feed) will still be transcoded and compressed. It's only when you click through to the full-size image that you will be able to tell the difference.

That means bitmap encoding (or the color information stored as binary numbers) will be preserved as is but, as before, EXIF data (information about camera settings, geolocation and date of image) will continue to be removed from uncompressed JPEG files.

According to O'Brien, images that are over 5MB in size, or have one dimension over 4096 pixels, will be transcoded and may lose image quality. Even images that were set to rotate to change orientation will also be transcoded.

It might seem like just a small, minor change, but going by the example in O'Brien's tweet above, this tiny improvement will make a huge difference to photography enthusiasts and professionals who share their work over Twitter.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.