Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Twitter's new photo preview just takes up more space - here's one partial solution

Three possible solutions:
1. Don't contribute to the problem: when using an app to upload a picture to Twitter see if Twitpic is available as an alternative in-app uploader (eg on Echofon the default is Twitter but it can be changed to Twitpic. 'Twitter'-pictures will autopreview, but Twitpics pictures don't. Thank you! Mwah xx

2. @ajfisher has written a script that can be copied and pasted into the 'Stylish' (free) Chrome plugin. I've tried it, it works - hooray, and also gets rid of promoted tweets. If anyone hears of anything for Firefox do let me know.
Twitter Web Client Inline Image Removal

3. Thanks to @latentexistence I heard of a way to use AdBlock to hide the images - you can still click on the tweet to expand as before but it seems to work (I've not tried it myself as I don't use AdBlock).
How to hide Twitter preview images with AdBlock

More detailed information

What's this all about?
For anyone reading their tweets through's website it's now a bit hard going. Here's what Twitter looks like on my desktop now. The two tweets shown have a picture with them which Twitter's now displaying automatically in preview mode. Can't escape this and as you can see it takes up rather a lot of space.

As of Tuesday 29 October 2013 Twitter's implemented a new thing in which it automatically shows a preview pane of any image or video ('media') that's been included in a tweet. You can still click on the tweet to expand both the tweet and the media viewer as before but it seems that if you're using (and to be fair, loads of people don't!) then you can't escape the previews. You can switch them off in most apps though, but not on the website version of Twitter.

What can be done?
• To stop contributing to the problem don't use to upload pictures from smartphones / tablets.

This seems to be the default setting on Echofon for iPhone but was easily fixed by going to Menu » Settings » (scroll down to Advanced) » Photo Upload » (select Twitpic). I'm sure something similar exists for other apps and smartphones / tablets.

If you upload photos to Twitter directly from your photostream (eg you've previously authorised your Photos app to use your Twitter account) then images will show up on Twitter as being sent via 'Camera on iOS' and will show up as with autopreviews.

Oddly, if you're using on a desktop and want to upload a picture using the button that should be visible in the tweet below it does use but doesn't autopreview it. I can't explain that at the moment.

• To stop experiencing the problem don't use on PC or Mac to view tweets.
This seems like admitting defeat though! But if you want to there are plenty of desktop apps such as Dabr and Janetter, all with free versions available.

What about other picture uploading apps?
I've only looked at a few of them, but here's what I've found
a) - via smartphone apps it activates Twitter's automatic preview thing, via web-based version it doesn't appear to do so.
b) Twitpic - doesn't activate preview
c)  imgur - doesn't activate preview
d) Instagram - doesn't activate preview

The big advantage of b) Twitpic is that if you click on the tweet it will expand and show the preview, but no preview while it's unclicked. Imgur and Instagram are 'off site' photo hosting apps and you have to click on the URL to view the pic, clicking on the tweet to expand doesn't do that. None of b), c) and d) will show a preview. Until Twitter changes them too ;)

Further reading
Lots of people ranting on the Twitter forum for Twitter developers ( - Why are pictures suddenly shown in the timeline without a "show picture" link? PLEASE ROLL THAT BACK, THANKS! 

BuzzFeed on Why Twitter Just Turned Itself Inside Out: Clicking is dead, scrolling is king. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the fight for the ultimate feed

ZDNet on How to hide Twitter preview images with AdBlock


  1. I really don't understand the level of resistance against this change by Twitter. I like it so far, it makes my feed more interesting looking. Maybe the people I follow post photos far less often than average? In any case, I suspect that (like on the iPhone app) Twitter will offer an option to turn this off soon.

    1. I dislike it because it makes tweets take up more space on my page. It doesn't matter as much when I'm at work as I have a larger screen but on my fairly normal laptop screen, as you can see in the image above, it's not a great look.

      Also it hasn't improved anything for me - I used to be able to see these pictures by clicking on the tweet to expand it. Now it seems a bit more inescapable. And I'm ambiently miffed at having a new unwanted thing foisted on me.

      The worst bit is if someone replies to a tweet with a picture in it, as that pulls it back to the top of the timeline and sticks a blue line between the picture tweet and the reply. It's a bit of a chaotic mess ;)

      And it also makes sponsored tweets that bit extra annoying if they have a picture too.

      I sincerely hope that Twitter will let us switch this off on the desktop version.

    2. Also, if you have half seen a picture it's not really worth clicking through to the whole thing but the preview is often only half as good as the whole thing. It's a mess. Fine for people who like it but give us an option to turn it off!

  2. the automatic twitter picture display was very annoying. plus, sometimes people would upload images i don't necessarily want to see. the chrome plugin extension solution worked like a charm. thank you...i am whole again!


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