The reign of awkwardly cropped Twitter images is over. Today, Twitter officially rolled out a new image display that lets iOS and Android users post longer photos without having them automatically cropped into a landscape thumbnail on the mobile app.
It’s a huge win for all users who have ever been frustrated by unfortunate crops messing with their photos.
Previously, all photos on Twitter automatically appeared as wide rectangles on the feed, regardless of the original aspect ratio. Users could click on the thumbnail to see the full image but couldn’t choose what appears as a preview, which was dictated by an algorithm.
For years, people have worked around this by cropping images before uploading, but it looks like those days are over.
To celebrate the new update, Twitter users are now posting ridiculously long photos that wouldn’t have shone in their full-length glory in the past. (Note: Open the tweets below on the Twitter app to see the changes)
With the auto-crop feature out of the way, people can share photos of breathtaking scenery like these.
Twitter’s previous image constraints had made it difficult for artists to share pieces that did not conform to the fixed aspect ratio. Some artists tried to wrest control over how their works were presented but with the new update comes unprecedented freedom in showcasing art on the platform.
While the new update may be good news for most, minor collateral damage comes in the form of ruined jokes. R.I.P., “open for a surprise” memes.
Twitter attracted controversy last year over its image-cropping algorithm, which users found tended to focus on the faces of white people over Black people.
The company acknowledged this in October, saying they had tested the technology for racial bias but were “developing a solution” to improve how images are displayed on the platform. Twitter also toyed with the idea of giving users more control over how their images are cropped for preview.
They revealed that they were testing this new no auto-crop feature in March, but did not specify in their announcement today if the new update was a response to the alleged racial bias.
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