We are uploading many photos on social networks. And because service providers want to save money on server costs, services are compressing uploaded photos and other multimedia files, mostly videos. This is something what professional photographers hate. If you are one of them and you are publishing your photos on social networks, like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you will recognize that photos are compressed. Twitter wants to attract more users, so it decided to not to compress photos. There are some limitations, but still much better than nothing.
Twitter’s software engineer Nolan O’Brien tweeted from his Twitter account that service will no longer “destroying” photos. In reality, Twitter started to keep images in full quality since December 11, 2019. Thumbnails will be still compressed, for faster loading on slower Internet connections.
Now mentioned limitations. As for rectangle photos, limit for full quality is resolution of 8 megapixels and for square photos (photos with ratio 1:1), limit is set at 16 megapixels. Also, Twitter will still remove metadata from photos, like EXIF metadata, wich often contains not only date and time of taking that photo, but often also GPS data. This limitation may be great for common users – users which take a photo on a smartphone and instantly share it on Twitter – to protect their privacy, but advanced users and photographers may not be happy with metadata removing.
Twitter also published official rules for using image compression. Your photo will be “degraded”, if:
- in EXIF metadata is set custom orientation
- any of picture’s dimensions exceeds 4096 pixels
- file is over 5 MB
- image uses too ineffective compression
Twitter will also exceed this policy to more content in the future, like users’ avatars.