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Twitter to display images and excerpts from links in tweets on mobile

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Microblogging platform Twitter has globally updated its summary cards on mobile (both Android and iOS) to show previews of articles within the tweet. Twitter claims that with this update, users on mobile will be able to see the image, title and summary of the tweet in their timelines and that the format is apparently ‘more attractive’ for consuming information.

Previously, users needed to click on a tweet to see its details, whereas now, with summary cards, with a preview, users can decide whether or not they want to visit the external link in that tweet. Twitter claims that this update is more visually attractive and informative and will allegedly drive traffic to the publisher’s websites.

There’s a chance that if you follow users who already tweet a lot of embedded images tweets, your timeline is bound to display fewer tweets. This is because the summary cards feature will hog up more space on your mobile screen rather than displaying multiple (text) tweets.

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Only limited to partner publishers: According to the company, media houses like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Techcrunch, Gizmodo, Time, Associated Press, Billboard, Vogue Magazine, Hindustan Times, India Today, Times of India and NDTV are already using this feature. A Verge report states that auto expanded links will only be visible from publishers who have enabled the summary card on their sites. Reports across the media suggest that this feature, somewhat similar to Facebook’s format of displaying links (with an image and an excerpt), will be used heavily by advertisers and marketers, since apparently, the visibility of their content is increased through an image.

Product cards now summary cards: On its developers site, Twitter says that its product cards will be ‘deprecated’ and mapped to summary cards, along with all the required fields of the product card. As of now, the platform provides 4 types of cards: summary card, summary card with a large image, app card (a card which lets developers provide a direct download for a mobile app) and player card for audio, video and media.

GIFs and Vine autoplay: Last month, the company rolled out ads which would automatically play videos when users were scrolling on their timelines on desktops and on Twitter for iOS. The autoplay feature was only for native videos, GIFs and Vines. Twitter said that automatically playing videos will be muted while scrolling through the timeline. Clicking on the video would play it in its entirety in the full-screen viewer with sound.

Tweets in Google results: In May, Google integrated tweets into its search results on smartphones. This would give Google broader access to tweets every minute, which Google had used to display relevant tweets when users searched for certain trending topics. This feature was running on a trial basis and not live in India at that time.

Twitter, which claimed to have over 302 million monthly active users globally as of May, had also introduced Highlights, a feature which would push rich notifications to its users to catch up on stuff relevant to its users.

Image Credit: Flickr user NASA GSFC

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