Twitter has announced what it says is a “big improvement to all embedded Tweets with photos,” even though the tweak seems insignificant: It made embedded images in other websites larger, and has slipped the matching text from the tweet to the bottom of the image.
Twitter says this puts a “bold visual focus on the media” and notes that the tweak means landscape and portrait-format photos will now be much more visible. Putting the tweet’s text at the bottom makes sense–the words now seem like an actual photo caption.
This isn’t a very big technical move from Twitter, but we can take a couple of things from it. Twitter is sweating the small stuff to get its service looking good, and really wants folks to use its embedded tweets. It also shows Twitter is aware that images shared over its network are being used to accompany breaking news, and that they draw more attention on news sites if they’re larger.
As Twitter approaches its IPO, it’s even possible that it will consider ways to monetize tweet images and embeds for more advertising. Twitter is likely also reacting to the recent move by Instagram to allow embeds on other websites.