Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Twitter announced that it was launching a test for a small group of Android and iOS users to provide people with an “accurate preview” of how their images will appear when they Tweet a photo from now on. Currently, Twitter algorithms automatically crop images to make them display in a more condensed way in the timeline. The company announced that it was testing a “what you see is what you get” image preview within the tweet compose box and is experimenting with displaying full-frame images.

Currently, users need to tap on the tweet to see the full image as it shows only a preview of it on the timeline. The new feature, which is set to be tested over the next few weeks, will eliminate that problem, making it possible for images to appear in full view.

In a thread, Twitter Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis said people in the test would see that most tweets with a single image in standard aspect ratio will be appearing un-cropped when posted. People will see exactly what the image will look like in the composer tool before it is actually posted. Very wide or tall images will be center-cropped, Twitter said.

This testing is set to allow Twitter to determine if this new approach is better and what changes the platform needs to make in order to provide a “what you see is what you get” experience for Tweets with images, Davis added. In addition, Twitter is also testing the uploading of 4K images on iOS and Android as part of a bigger push “to improve how you can share and view media on Twitter.”

No specific date has been mentioned regarding when the feature would be made official for all users.

The automatic image cropping which is currently present has been a perennial problem for artists and photographers. If the crop is not properly done, that can make the difference between a photo attracting a lot of attention or getting ignored outright. It is all the more frustrating since the users themselves have no control over the cropping. “With this test, we hope to learn if this new approach is better and what changes we need to make to provide a ‘what you see is what you get’ experience for Tweets with images,” Davis said in a tweet.

This new feature is set to remove a problem that has been haunting Twitter for some time. Last year, several users showed how the company’s tool often favors white faces over Black ones, even going as far to crop out the former president of the United States in a person’s tests. While Twitter said that it has tested the tool for any racial bias and that there isn’t any bias, it admitted that it needed to perform more analysis and refine its approach to avoid situations like this. From now, most Tweets with a single image in standard aspect ratio will appear un-cropped when posted. This change could go on to have significant consequences, making Twitter a richer visual platform.