Twitter puts photos "front and center" on mobile

Twitter timelines are pretty basic and heavy on the text. That changes now.

Twitter's update for iOS emphasizes images.

The microblogging network updated its mobile site and iOS and Android apps on Tuesday so photos and videos are in your face—or at least in your timeline. Before the update, Twitter’s apps buried photos and videos behind a link in your stream, so you had to click through to play a Vine or see an image. (Though Instagram photos will probably still be buried.)

It’s a natural progression—Twitter was one of the few remaining major social networks not to emphasize visuals in its main stream, though the app’s Discover tab featured photos up front. It’s not exactly the major redesign that reports indicate is coming down the pipeline, but it is a glimpse of the company’s more visual next phase. If you hate the new look, don't fret: You can turn off image previews in your app settings.

Twitter also tweaked your timeline so you can reply, retweet, or favorite a tweet within the stream, instead of clicking through to a tweet.

These small steps that indicate Twitter cares more about making the mobile experience a better one for users—and maybe those users will give up on third-party Twitter clients and return home to the nest.

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