Twitter has has begun integrating image uploads into its mobile website. This new feature will allow users accessing Twitter via its mobile website to attach images to their tweets. Clicking on the image button allows you to capture an image using the camera or select a file from your gallery.
It seems the new feature works only on devices running Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Android Jelly Bean. However, reports in the media state that the feature also works on iOS 6 devices.
The new development, spotted by Sociable, signals another move by Twitter in its apparent bid to drift away from third-party clients and increase its control over user experience. At present, users can attach images to their tweets only via the official Twitter app, a number of third-party clients and through a browser on a desktop PC.
Attaching images via the mobile browser was hassle-free, but is a little slow and seems cumbersome. If you ask me, I’d still stick to Tweetbot for uploading images, but Twitter has removed the ability for you to see how you have posted a particular tweet and third-party developers are throwing a fit over this.
Twitter has already disabled the via stamp in its mobile app. The social networking site is moving away from its earlier philosophy of providing users with as much detail as possible, and is instead focusing more on controlling the user experience. Previously, you could view a significant amount of detail on a tweet by clicking on the ‘Details’ button.
It is speculated that this “removing the via stamp” is a move by Twitter to further control how content on its website looks and gently push users towards using its own apps and clients. Not being able to view how a tweet is posted will result in tweeters getting a more cohesive reading experience.
The restriction on the ability to see the application, client or service a tweet was posted from can be good for security, but it alienates third-party clients, which are widely used for tweeting. It also deprives third parties of free visibility, which is a big factor for them.
This move follows the changes to the Twitter API for third-party apps that were implemented recently. The new guidelines, many of which are compulsory, govern how third-party apps access and display Twitter’s data. This affects all popular smartphone and desktop clients, many of which analyse the public stream of Tweets and display trends, photos etc.
The new rules appear to restrict common practices such as mixing Tweets with news from other sources in order to show users relevant information and displaying Tweets and statistics in innovative ways. This would force all third-party apps to look and behave very much like the official Twitter apps and clients, thus limiting their appeal.
The guidelines also seem to imply that Twitter will have much broader freedom to impose additional restrictions on third parties if their size and reach grows significantly.