Twitter Desktop website shows medias differently


#1

Hi,

The recent announcement regarding .PNG files made me think of a issue I wanted to discuss here for a long time. As a lot of Developers, when I use the API to upload medias, I care about how these medias are going to be displayed on all Twitter official platforms.

But there is a problem: The full Twitter.com website, used on Desktops, doesn’t show medias the same way as the other platforms, especially when we’re talking about 4 images within a tweet.

Example:

  • Twitter Full Website on Desktops:

  • Twitter Mobile Website:

14

  • Tweetdeck

13

  • Twitter for Android

As you can see, the Twitter Desktop website is the only one that uses this kind of display (1 big picture, 3 little pictures on the right). I don’t understand the motivation behind it? Why not unify the display on all platforms?

You can see here my medias look terrible. There are quite simple images, with a person. But Twitter doesn’t crop them correctly. I read about cropping months ago on the official blog (https://blog.twitter.com/engineering/en_us/topics/infrastructure/2018/Smart-Auto-Cropping-of-Images.html). Is it not enabled yet?

Regards


#2

You are right, that article describes the approach used to crop images - and while i don’t think i’m totally right about why this is happening, my guess is that it’s working “correctly” ie: cropping images by identifying the most “salient” or in this case “high contrast” regions of an image.

In your example, the shots are pretty dark where the face is, and so it crops to the areas with higher contrast like the wall in 1st pic or chair in 2nd.

Another example, https://twitter.com/whattheshot/status/1080415974946414593 here the third picture, the cartoon stylized shot gets cropped to show the high contrast area of the lines, rather than the face.

While you’ve no control over how images are cropped or displayed across devices, you can influence how they appear by selecting shots that have high contrast areas you know are likely to be cropped appropriately - but for your specific case, assuming you’re doing this automatically somehow, i don’t really know of a good solution, unless you have your own parameters you can tweak for the selection of good screenshots. It’s a pretty cool bot either way!


#3

Thanks Igor!

I understand that no system is perfect and while dealing with movie stills, there can be problems. In the example you linked, the third picture could not get cropped correctly for obvious reasons, but I was expecting a better crop for the picture with a girl and a chair in my initial post.

Anyway, all of this could be easily fixed if the Twitter Desktop website will display four images just like the other platforms. I’m curious to know the reason behind this display. Did they forget to change it or it’s still here for some reason? An answer will be nice, or even better, a way to change the display when uploading medias with the API.

I guess this kind of display might be useful when people upload “vertical” photos, or documents, but for widescreen medias, it’s not good. Maybe adapt the display according to the medias uploaded?