Twitter crop is gone—on mobile, at least

What will happen to the “click for a surprise” tweets?

Exciting news for all Twitter addicts: Twitter crop is gone on mobile devices. ICYDK, when you’d post a vertical photo on the social media platform, Twitter’s cropping algorithm would automatically make a cropped preview of it—and if you wanted to see the photo in full, you’d have to click on it. 

If you’ve ever seen a “click for a surprise” tweet, which is when you click on a photo to find something adorable that wasn’t shown in the preview, like a smiling cat or dog, then you too have fallen prey to the bird app’s cropping algorithm.

Lots of pictures have, quite frankly, been ruined by this, from faces in selfies being cut off or the highlight of a piece of art not showing up in the preview. There’s also been discussions of the cropping algorithm being racist. Last year, users experimented with posting long vertical photos with people of different races on opposite ends of the picture and found that many of the previews favored putting white people in the front and center. 

This eventually caused Twitter to issue an apology in September, saying, “Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing. But it’s clear from these examples that we’ve got more analysis to do. We’ll continue to share what we learn, what actions we take, and will open source our analysis so others can review and replicate.”

Giving the crop a chop, which Twitter started testing out in March and has now been applied to its iOS and Android versions, may in part be a response to that.

Many artists and photographers have praised the change since it enables them to post their work without worrying about how it will show up on their follower’s feeds. “Twitter crop is gone” also started trending on the app, with users posting vertical photos in their full glory. 

I’m all for getting rid of the cropping algorithm entirely, and I’m hoping the change will be applied to Twitter’s website, too. What do you think about it?


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