Twitter is always testing something with users; this week, they have a couple visual experiments underway.
Another new feature, which Mashable first noticed in a tweet sent by Twitter’s head of communications, Carolyn Penner, allows users more space to comment when they are retweeting another user. “Retweet with Comment” surfaces the retweeted message as an image, leaving users with just under 140-characters to share their own thoughts.
Previously, if someone wanted to add their own commentary to a retweet, they could click “Quote Tweet” to do so. This limited user comments by forcing them to fit both the original tweet and the added material into the 140-character limit.
Another feature, noticed on Thursday by some users, positions tweet images above the tweet’s text instead of below it. It appears that this may be a mobile-only test on both iOS and Android, and only a few select users have the new look.
Both experiments appear to be mobile only, and are not available to all users. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment, but directed Mashable to a company blog post which describes its experimental philosophy.
Twitter says it tests new features “constantly.”
These latest feature experiments both play into Twitter’s attempt to become a more visual service. In the past year, through various changes, images have gradually become a more important part of the Twitter experience. For example, in October, Twitter added photo previews to Timelines, and in December the company changed the default compose screen on its mobile app to the user’s photo stream instead of the standard keyboard.
There is no timetable for when these new features might be offered to all users, and it’s possible that they’ll never be made widely available.
By Kurt Wagner