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Twitter Will Improve Photo Uploads To Preserve Image Quality


Twitter will finally be allowing users to display their images, having to worry about the social media platform downscaling the quality of the images.

Twitter has cemented its place in the social media space as the place that people fight about things using very few words. It’s not surprising then that this platform isn’t really that concerned with aesthetics.

Design vs Text

The site itself still looks much the same as its always done, despite a number of makeovers during the years.

Where Instagram is bright and beautiful, Twitter often does feel a lot like you’ve been stuffed in a room with too many people. I often wonder how much of the identity of the site is caused by its slightly claustrophobic design.

The team will at least be upgrading the image quality on the site. In case you didn’t know, if you – like 99% of people – are uploading jpeg images, Twitter is reducing the quality of your pictures before they end up on their site.

The platform transcodes user images to help them use less server space. This has meant that Twitter has never really made sense as a place for visual creatives to share their work.

Original encoding

Twitter engineer Nolan O’Brien posted the announcement on his timeline and included an example of the difference. The social media platform will now essentially retain the original jpeg encoding.

The exception will be that the team will remove EXIF data that could be used to identify a user’s location.

Nolan O’Brien@NolanOBrien

Starting today, Twitter will preserve JPEGs as they are encoded for upload on Twitter for Web. (Caveat, cannot have EXIF orientation)

For example: the attached photo is actually a guetzli encoded JPEG at 97% quality with no chroma subsampling.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guetzli 

The change is unlikely to suddenly catapult Twitter ahead of Instagram as the social media platform of choice among photographers and visual artists. It will, however, give creatives more options on how they manage their social media.

The change makes it a lot easier for creatives who prefer using the social media platform to get their work seen by their audience in the way they originally intended.

It’ll be interesting to see if there is any kind of noticeable change to the number of images we begin seeing on the platform.

Nolan O’Brien@NolanOBrienReplying to @NolanOBrien

Support for 4096×4096 image uploads were added in 2018 to Twitter for Web. You can view them on Twitter for Web, Twitter for iPad and Twitter for Mac when clicking/tapping to open the image.

And now the quality can be what you make it- keep your JPEGs crisp and clear!

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