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Twitter finally gives up on cropping image previews

Twitter has launched full-size image previews so you’ll no longer have to guess what’s hiding in the rest of a cropped picture in your feed.

Twitter launched the new full-size previews for iPhone and Android on Wednesday, May 5.

Before the change, non-horizontal images were always cropped, forcing the user to tap on the picture to see it in full.

The company began testing the new way of showing images earlier this year, and this week announced — via a tweet of course — that it was bringing full-size image previews to everyone using Twitter on mobile.

no bird too tall, no crop too short

introducing bigger and better images on iOS and Android, now available to everyone

— Twitter (@Twitter) May 5, 2021

Having vertical images take up more space on the display is unlikely to impair the user experience, especially when you consider the ease with which you’re able to scroll through content with a quick flick of the thumb or finger. In fact, eliminating the need to tap on an image to view it in its entirety means the process of exploring content on Twitter will now be even smoother.

Before the change, Twitter used automatic detection software to ensure an image with a face would be included in the crop, although the system landed it in hot water last year when it was discovered that its algorithm appeared to lead to cropped pictures focusing more on white faces than Black ones if both appeared in the same image.

Another issue with the software meant that pictures without faces were cropped to show the center of the image, often resulting in a non-sensical preview that offered little clue as to what the image was really about. Twitter attempted to rectify this drawback by using artificial intelligence aimed at cropping a more meaningful part of the image, but the system wasn’t perfect.

Following lots of tweaks over the last few years, Twitter has finally decided to simply include the whole picture in the preview. And we think you’ll like it.

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Trevor Mogg
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