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Twitter kills troublesome image cropping for certain uploads

Twitter cropping images has always been a problem for the platform. Uploaded images to the social network were chopped up in seemingly random ways that ruined artists’ work at best and came across as racist at worst.

Now this problem has been addressed. Kind of. Twitter has officially announced that uploads of certain images will no longer be cropped and will display in full.

The announcement of this is very brief (see the embed below) but there is some extra information floating around. For example it has been clarified that images which are 2:1 and 3:4 aspect ratios will no longer be cropped.

There seems to be some variance in how this works, however. Open up the Tweet from US supermarket chain Target below, for example. When we view this tweet on mobile the image is still cropped for us, but on desktop it isn’t.

Even the embedded version of this tweet on this website shows the full image from Target, but our Twitter app (on Android at least) still crops it.

We made sure to update our app before writing this story, and we don’t see the cropping issue happen with long images which are more vertical, so it seems there’s still come kinds in the system.

Maybe the desktop version of Twitter, which will usually be accessed by a 16X9 horizontal screen, more favours longer horizontal images, while phones, which are usually longer in the vertical axis, get to see these uploads in full.

We did a quick test of this and this and our guess seems to be correct. The uploaded image below shows up just fine in the mobile app, but experiences cropping on desktop.

At this point we do have to mention that cropping only applies to tweets that appear in your timeline. If you click or tap on a tweet you can always see the image in full, so cropping only applies to the first time you see an image as you scroll past.

So while we’re happy there’s less cropping going on in Twitter there’s still problems and the new feature doesn’t seem to work universally, which will lead to more problems in terms of a mismatch when comparing what’s uploaded and what we see.

This could all be solved if Twitter simply gave users the option to choose how images are cropped, if at all. Oh well, maybe that feature will be added along with an edit button.

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