Twitter 5.12 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 003)Twitter 5.12 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

The micro-blogging service Twitter just refreshed its mobile apps and the web interface with in-stream previews for images and Vine videos so you can see attached media without having to click the hyperlinks like crazy.

It’s a marked improvement over Twitter’s Media mode that similarily infests your timeline with media previews at the expense of completeness, because all non-media tweets get omitted from Media view.

Additionally, this edition of Twitter for iPhone and iPad includes a set of handy buttons to quickly re-tweet, reply or favorite someone’s tweet right from the timeline…

“Tweet a picture without text, and let the image say it all,” says Twitter.

I’m sure advertisers will be jumping with joy over all-image tweets.

To reveal the full screen version of an image, simply tap its preview in the timeline. Here, a Vine below takes you through a six-second tour of these new features.


It’s worth pointing out that these in-stream previews work only with Vine videos and Twitter images, for now. Should be interesting seeing how other apps react to this move which has given Twitter yet another unfair advantage over third-party developers.

With the groundwork now laid out, you could imagine other in-stream media previews added in the future. I know what some of you must be thinking: if I wanted my timeline flooded with unwanted images, I’d be on Facebook, right? Relax, should inline previews take up too much of your screen real estate, you can always turn them off  in settings, like so.

Twitter 5.12 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

I’m also liking the quick action buttons.

Unlike Twitter, apps such as Tweetbot and Twitterrific require you to swipe left or right over a tweet to reveal the buttons. This is slower versus Twitter’s persistent quick action buttons to reply, retweet favorite or follow someone straight from a tweet in the timeline.

Also – and I’m not sure if this is the result of today’s update as I haven’t fired up Twitter’s official iOS app for weeks (I’m a heavy Tweetbot user) – the software totally feels fluid and way more responsive.

Really, it struck me as – dare I say – noticeably faster than Tweetbot on my iPhone.

If I wanted to whine about this update, I’d probably note that the conversation line color has changed and how the app inexplicably continues to add a one-pixel white line to the bottom of uploaded photos, which has been ticking me off for quite some time now.

Twitter can be downloaded free from the App Store.

The new photo and video previews are available on Twitter.com, too.