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Twitter tweaks photo and video viewing as it seeks to enhance visual media experience

Twitter announced Wednesday it’s rolling out a few changes to its microblogging service, one of which is designed to make it easier to view photos when viewing through a web browser. The tweaks to the site were outlined in a post on the company’s blog by software engineer David Chen.

First up, when you click on an image on a user’s feed or in search results, a large version will now appear on screen without you leaving the page (example below), thereby eliminating the need for further navigation. Also, videos from Vine, YouTube, Vimeo and other Twitter partners will start appearing in the media gallery alongside images.

The update is all part of the site’s efforts to increase the presence of visual media on the service and create a more engaging experience for the user. With this in mind, San Francisco-based Twitter acquired video-sharing start-up Vine in October last year, launching the iOS app last week – many expect Vine to be fully integrated into the Twitter app before too long. And last month the site rolled out a number of photo filters for its in-app camera/photo feature, though at this early stage they fall far short of what an app like Instagram can achieve when it comes to giving your images a makeover.

Besides the tweaks to the way visual media is presented, Chen also said that tweet pages will now show users more of the conversation (ie. replies to a tweet), with the possible consequence being that users will be more likely to join a debate and therefore hang around on the site for longer.