Twitter Has Started Cropping Images Square in Email Updates


Think you know how your Twitter images are rendering in email updates? You may need to think again.

Just over the past week or so, we’ve had our attention drawn to several Twitter email updates where the image has been cropped into a square. Let us show you what this has done to one of Target Internet’s tweets:

There’s the original Tweet – looking good, if we may say so ourselves.

Twitter image in Twitter

And there’s how it looks in an email update.

Twitter Image in Twitter email

This is a bit of a puzzler for those of us who promote our content on Twitter. Do we create our featured images with lots of detail in that central square, with not a lot going on in the sides of the rectangle?

That doesn’t sound very attractive to us – but then again, neither does having our tweets transfigured from this…

…into this.

What is Twitter doing here?

Rectangular featured images are the standard not only across social media but also on WordPress and other leading CMS (content management systems).

This makes this move to square cropping seem all the stranger. The web may well trend towards using square featured images in future, but are Twitter happy with their email updates looking wrong in the meantime?

It’s worth noting that the arrival of square cropping in Twitter email updates seems consistent with a raft of design changes implemented last month.

The June update left Twitter looking, above all, curvier, with icons made rounder and profile pictures cropped circular.

A Twitter press release on the changes claimed: “Rounded profile photos make it clearer to see what’s being said and who’s saying it.”

The Twittersphere’s response can be roughly summed up in the following tweet:

Old Twitter vs new Twitter

It’s normal for social media users to react negatively to platform updates – really, we spend so much of our time on social that an update is like someone coming into our homes and moving the furniture around. The jury is still very much out on the curvier Twitter.

But we must admit, it’s harder to envisage people coming round to square cropped tweets in email updates anytime soon.

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