When Twitter began, internet across the world collectively sucked and so compressing the hell out of content made a lot of sense both for their bandwidth costs and the data consumption of users. Its now 2017 and the world has moved on. Sure not everyone has the best connection, but we’re all walking around with phones in our pockets that can take photos and video in 4K and beyond, but sharing that content Twitter sees it brutally assaulted by their media compression algorithm.
Twitter should at least give users the option to upload in higher quality and every user the choice to consume content in SD/HD or 4K and the comparable standards in photos. The difference between uploading content to Facebook and Twitter couldn’t be greater and to be honest, its so bad, I’m publishing more content to Facebook and less to Twitter because of it.
I can appreciate the technical challenges of storing and service large format content and multiple versions of it, but seriously if you want to play with the big boys (Google and Facebook), then you need a technical stack that permits it or users will continue to walk.
As we go about our lives and increasingly share large parts of it with the world via social media, increasingly the quality matters. Whether its your latest holiday snaps, that amazing content you went to last night or just showing off how good a new piece of artwork in your home looks, there’s a brutal reality that shocks you in its severity when you open a piece of content you’ve shared to Twitter. Expecting it to be the same as what you see on your phone, its not, not even close, its a horrible compressed bastadarisation of what was amazing source material.
Please Twitter, rethink your media compression, its the visuals that help posts stand out from the crowd, but they can only do that if you look after our uploads, treat them with the same care and attention you give 3rd party developers.. or not.
Here’s exibit A.. a video comparing 2 UHD TVs (Samsung QLED and Hisense ULED for those playing at home). The source file was a 27 second video, shot at 3840 x 2160 resolution and 98.98MB in size. Twitter made this really sharp video a complete mess.