The Twitter crop has been the butt of jokes for years, but the fun may be over as the social media platform begins testing new “widescreen” images that spread from edge-to-edge on the screen. The end result is a more “Instagram-like” look where photos take priority over text — and while it may solve those nasty cropping issues, it does appear the new feature is causing other problems for early users.
When The Verge reached out to Twitter to confirm the reasons why it was testing larger images, the company said it wanted to focus on supporting both visual and text-based communication.
Instead, the change is reportedly causing major complaints from users who say the new layout is “headache-inducing” and that the edge-to-edge images are creating far more confusion about the content of tweets.
You can check out the changes for yourself here, if you haven’t already spotted them on your iOS device:
Now testing on iOS:
Edge to edge Tweets that span the width of the timeline so your photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine. pic.twitter.com/luAHoPjjlY
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 7, 2021
The images here are certainly bigger — but arguably, it does make the Twitter UI look a bit messier when compared to the traditional, bordered look.
As a side effect, it also appears these changes will play havoc on everybody’s favourite crop jokes on Twitter. There’s plenty of content on the service that relies on visual gags that include the crop (including those ‘click for a surprise’ jokes) but like The Simpsons before it, new Twitter may fall victim to its aspect ratio changes.
Still, there’s potential that the change will address the other major complaint about Twitter’s crop: that its algorithm preferences white faces when presented with a choice. It’s unclear whether Twitter had this issue in mind when it chose to roll out the wider image test but regardless, it should bring some form of change.
The ‘larger image’ Twitter is currently in testing phase, with iOS devices being the first to see the visual overhaul. From initial user feedback it’s clear the change isn’t going down particularly well, but there’s plenty of time for Twitter to reassess the new format and tweak what works for the platform.