The next time you navigate your Twitter timeline on your phone, you might notice a minor but impactful change in the way the service handles images. With a small subset of iOS and Android users, Twitter began testing full-size image previews, allowing users to see timeline images in their original aspect ratio.
Before starting today’s test, Twitter cropped all non-16: 9 images to maintain consistency on your timeline. Provided that a tweet only includes a single image and is in a relatively standard aspect ratio, the change will ensure that you don’t have to tap on an image to see it in its entirety. . In theory, this should make the experience of browsing your timeline more streamlined.
In addition, the company announced that it is also testing a feature that allows users to download 4K quality images from their iPhone or Android device. In the “Data Usage” section of the settings menu, you will see a toggle to enable high quality image downloads.
It might seem like a small thing for Twitter to change the way it displays images, but it’s still important. Over the years, there have been a lot of complaints about the way the service handles images. It hit a tipping point last year when people discovered that Twitter’s image cropping algorithm was focus on white faces on blacks. “With this test, we hope to know if this new approach is better and what changes we need to make to deliver a ‘what you see is what you get’ experience for tweets with images.” said Dantley Davis, chief design officer of Twitter of the test.
Twitter hasn’t said when the crop change might catch on to all users. As with any test, the company might decide to keep it as it is.