Twitter has just released a simple but significant new update to its web interface and Android and iOS apps, bringing previews of pictures and Vines into users timelines.
The new preview packed stream.
The update sounds like a small one but the visual effect is striking, changing what was previously a screen filled only with text into one heavily dotted with pictures and videos. In turn this gives it what could be described as more of a Facebook-like feel.
Users will still have to click to see a full-size version of pictures or watch the full animated version of a Vine, but they will now have one less click to see whether the link is something they're likely to be interested in.
Twitter said of the update, "So many of the great moments you share on Twitter are made even better with photos or with videos from Vine. These rich Tweets can bring your followers closer to what's happening, and make them feel like they are right there with you.
“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 centre in Tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap."
Twitter is actually playing catchup with this update, as many of the apps that interface with Twitter, such as Tweetdeck, have long had this feature. However, Twitter's own phone apps and web interface are by far the most popular, so for many people it will be a new view.