If you use Twitter regularly, you've likely noticed how some tall images are cropped in unfavorable ways when scrolling down your timeline. Twitter usually crops images to a fixed aspect ratio, with algorithms determining where the focus should be for the tweet preview. If you want the full image, you need to tap it.
That's changing, though, at least to some extent. Through its support account, Twitter today announced that it's changing the way image previews work on the Android and iOS versions of the app, making it so that you can see the full image directly on the timeline. This will apply to tweets with a single image, and it should work for most images. If a picture is very tall or very wide, it will still be cropped, as noted by Twitter's Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis. However, they will be cropped to the center of the image, rather than Twitter trying to determine the point of focus.
Have a collection of higher res photos waiting to be shared? We’re testing ways for you to upload and view 4K images on Android and iOS.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 10, 2021
If you're in the test, update your high-quality image preferences in “Data usage” settings to get started. pic.twitter.com/EgW5fsb8Z8
That's not all the good news, either. Twitter is also adding the ability to upload and view higher-quality images. This is also still in testing with select users, but if you were selected, you can enable high-quality image uploads in the settings. Twitter says it supports images up to 4K resolution, though while that designation is more commonly used for video, it seems like this only applies to still photos. That should mean a maximum resolution of 3840x2160 will be supported for uploaded images.
When asked, the Twitter support team said it's always working to improve its technology and improve video quality, but nothing specific was announced in that regard. It went on to say that it keeps network data usage and "device constraints" in mind when making these improvements.
It's unclear when these improvements will roll out more broadly, or when they might make their way to other platforms, like the progressive web app that powers the Twitter experience on Windows 10.