Twitter Rolls Out 4K Image Support on iOS and Android

Following last month’s announcement that it was testing full-size images as previews in timelines, Twitter today announced that both iOS and Android users can choose to upload and view images in 4K.

As reported by Engadget, enabling the feature can be done through the “Data usage” section of the settings menu. From there, you can choose to update the selection on the high-quality images option. As expected, loading higher resolution images will affect the app’s loading speed and the amount of data your phone will use both on WiFi and with data, so you can choose not to enable the feature if you are afraid of hitting limits or slowing down your scrolling.

For photographers, hearing the term “4K” being used to describe the resolution of photos may not be language that they are used to, as it’s normally reserved for discussions on monitor resolution or videos. Perspectively, images are currently compressed to at most 2048 x 2048. The increase to 4K would nearly double that, allowing photos to display at up to 3840 pixels on the long end. As smartphone displays are becoming higher resolution, this change will make looking at images a superior experience on mobile.

Twitter originally tested this feature in early March and was shortly joined by the announcement that it was planning to play nice with YouTube by allowing videos to play natively in timelines. For as long as many can remember, Twitter hasn’t allowed YouTube videos to act like the rest of the gifs, images, or uploaded videos that appear on timelines and instead required you to navigate away from your feed to watch a tweeted YouTube video. The videos have also not displayed as well as other content and are instead confined to a small thumbnail. Expanding its support for YouTube is only something users would enjoy, and adding the feature sounds like a no-brainer.

This rollout is related but separate from Twitter’s test of uncropped timeline images that it announced in March. For those not actively in Twitter’s test, all non-16:9 images are cropped to maintain uniformity on timelines. Twitter is currently determining if they should change this so that images that are not specifically 16:9 aspect ratio would not have to be tapped in order to reveal them in their entirety. This may result in a more streamlined browsing experience and will no doubt add greater value to images shared on the platform.

Combined with the higher resolution images that are being rolled out today, image viewing is looking to become a vastly improved experience on the platform.

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