Micro-blogging site Twitter has announced that it's testing edge-to-edge media in tweets on iOS, creating a more full-screen, almost Instagram-like experience for the photos and videos in your timeline. In an email to The Verge, the micro-blogging site wrote that it is testing the change because it wants to better support conversations that are both visual and text-based.
This change, if it rolls out beyond a select group of iOS users, also helps Twitter address concerns over image cropping that it's been dealing with over the last few years, the report said. Image cropping algorithms have been informally shown to have a bias toward white faces, something Twitter confirmed earlier this year, it added.
Twitter has attempted to address that problem by eliminating photo cropping, but this design test takes things a step further with an Instagram-style emphasis on visuals. Entire joke formats get lost in the process, but such is the cost of progress.
As per the report, some people have already taken issue with Twitter's design. Searches for "New Twitter" bring up plenty of complaints, like the new layout is headache-inducing and that edge-to-edge screenshots of tweets can confusingly look like an actual tweet. Clearly, Twitter might have some more tweaking to do before this test becomes something official, the report noted.
Twitter has also announced a new feature "Communities" as an alternative to Facebook's popular Groups where people can share discussions on a specific topic.
Twitter Community will have its own moderators who are able to set rules and invite or remove people. Twitter invited a handful of users to create the first Communities and will let anyone apply to create their own on its website.
"Communities are created and self-moderated by people on Twitter maybe even you! Like if you are passionate about birds of the Southern Hemisphere or soup, you could start a Community for that in the future," the company said in a tweet.
Twitter users can be invited to an initial batch of Communities that include #AstroTwitter, #DogTwitter, #SkincareTwitter, and #SoleFood (a group for sneaker enthusiasts).
"We are launching with a handful of Communities BUT we expect (and want!) new ones to be created every week. Our plan is to build and update Communities based on your feedback, so tell us how you *really* feel which honestly you're already very good at doing," the company added.
Communities can be accessed through the navigation bar on iOS devices and on the web, there's a Communities option on the sidebar.