Twitter's photo experience just got a lot better with larger pictures, 4K image support

Google Pixel 4a
Google Pixel 4a (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Update, Apr 21 (4 pm ET): 4K image support is rolling out for everyone

Update, May 5 (4:20 pm ET):You can now view large photos

What you need to know

  • Twitter is testing two photo-related tweaks on mobile apps.
  • It'll let users see how their photos will appear on the timeline as part of a change to the tweet composer.
  • The company will also enable higher quality uploads, allowing for the sharing of 4K pictures.

Twitter is testing out an improvement to how its mobile app handles photos on Android. In a limited test the company announced today, there'll be changes made to both the tweet composer and image upload quality.

The composer will now display a more representative view of an image you plan to share pre-upload. That is to say, you'll now see how it would appear in the timeline before you upload it.

The second is a small tweak that'll let you see and view 4K pictures on Android and iOS. It's a step up from the compressed images that users can share now, and it'll presumably help photography enthusiasts share their work more accurately.

In a collection of tweets, the company said:

Sometimes it's better said with a picture or a video. Over the next few weeks, we'll be testing some ways to improve how you can share and view media on Twitter. Now testing on Android and iOS: when you Tweet a single image, how the image appears in the Tweet composer is how it will look on the timeline –– bigger and better. Have a collection of higher-res photos waiting to be shared? We're testing ways for you to upload and view 4K images on Android and iOS. If you're in the test, update your high-quality image preferences in "Data usage" settings to get started.

Twitter and other social media platforms have prioritized speed over fidelity when it comes to images in the past. With companies now loading up "lite" apps for the best cheap Android phones such as the new Instagram Lite that debuted this morning, they're free to now refocus the larger apps on more ambitious tasks, and this test is part of that.

Update, Apr 21 (4 pm ET) ― 4K image uploads are available for everyone

After testing the feature with some users, Twitter has announced that 4K image uploads are now available for all users on iOS and Android.

If you're unsure how to enable this, you can reference the tweet or follow our guide on how to upload high-quality 4K images to Twitter. It's not yet clear when the enhanced timeline images will roll out.

Update, May 5 (4:20 pm ET) ― Bigger pictures are going live!

Twitter today announced the roll ou of larger images to everyone on iOS and Android. The update comes barely two weeks after 4K image support debuted.

You don't have to do anything to get this to work, just share your images as normal and Twitter would share them so they appear as they are without being artificially cropped. For Twitter who fell into hot water over the way its algorithm chose to crop certain images, the option of simply not cropping might just be the solution it was looking for.

Michael Allison