You may have noticed something a little different about your Twitter feed today. Photos and Vines can now be seen within tweets without any clicking or opening of a new window. The changes can be seen on Twitter's website as well as its mobile apps for iOS and Android after a new update.
From Twitter's official blog:
We want to make it easier for everyone to experience those moments on Twitter. That’s why starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in Tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.
We’ve also made it easier for you to reply, retweet or favorite a Tweet without leaving your timeline; you can tap to do that right inside the Tweets you see in your timeline.
Twitter's announcement came the same day of Google+'s major photo update, sparking theories that the #2 and #3 social networks are ganging up on the current leader—Facebook. Wired's Mat Honan gave a great comparison of the three services, analysing whether the underdogs will ever be able to beat Facebook's photo sharing appeal.
For us, Twitter's latest update looks like more of an attack on Instagram, while Google+ is definitely looking at Facebook's user base of (relatively) private photo sharers and Flickr's power-uploading users.
By putting photos directly in feeds, Twitter is making a dramatic shift from words to photos. You can already apply Instagram-like filters to your Twitter photos, and this new presentation system offers another place to publish your smartphone images and six-second videos. Twitter has come a long way from its original 140-character past, but is it a good thing?
Let's hear from you: Is there room for Twitter in the mobile photo social network wars?
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