image sourceReuters

Twitter is testing new changes to how photos and videos appear on its apps, closer to how images appear on other services such as Instagram.

The new feature will expand visual media embedded in tweets to fill the whole width of a mobile phone's screen.

Currently, images are indented next to a user's profile photo and take up much less screen space.

Twitter said the new layout – being tested on iOS but not Android – would give media "more room to shine".

Now testing on iOS:

Edge to edge Tweets that span the width of the timeline so your photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine. pic.twitter.com/luAHoPjjlY

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 7, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

It is the latest in a series of tests to change the core Twitter experience:

  • it has been testing upvote and downvote buttons similar to those seen on Reddit
  • launched a "tip jar" feature to allow users to pay each other for "good" tweets
  • radically altered its image-cropping algorithms in recent months
  • introduced "super follows" for subscriber-only content
  • released – but then killed off – Fleets, an Instagram stories-like temporary tweets feature

The experimental changes to fuel content creation and consumption come amid a rollout of Twitter's subscription service for dedicated users, Twitter Blue.

Being a place for media consumption is an explicit priority for Twitter. In May, it announced the acquisition of Scroll, an article reading and optimisation service, which it plans to roll into its paid offerings.

"Scroll will become a meaningful addition to our subscriptions work as we build and shape a future subscription service," it wrote at the time.

Twitter also announced another test which allows users to remove followers.

Previously, the only way to prevent people seeing your tweets was to protect them – meaning you would have to approve requests to follow you – or to block individual users.

We're making it easier to be the curator of your own followers list. Now testing on web: remove a follower without blocking them.

To remove a follower, go to your profile and click “Followers”, then click the three dot icon and select “Remove this follower”. pic.twitter.com/2Ig7Mp8Tnx

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 7, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The new feature, being tested in the web browser version of Twitter, will let users remove people from their "followers" list.

But there is nothing to stop that person then re-following later.

It is an official way to do what is commonly called a soft block – where someone will block and then immediately unblock someone to remove the follower without notifying them.