Twitter is rolling out two new features that focus squarely on photos. Users can now tag up to 10 people in one photo and share up to four photos in a single tweet.
Tagging photos on Twitter works almost exactly as it does on Facebook. When you select a photo, you’re prompted to tap on “Who’s in this photo?” and then type and select the name of the person you want to tag. Users will receive notifications if they’re tagged in a photo; however, if the person sharing the photo doesn’t use the @-mention, the user’s name will appear next to the photo as it does on Facebook. If you don’t want to be tagged in photos, you can configure your photo tagging options under the security and privacy settings on Twitter.
Photo tags that eliminate the @-mention could be a step towards Twitter eradicating the symbol from its network entirely, as recent reports have speculated.
When you share a series of up to four photos, Twitter will automatically create an album embedded in the initial tweet so users can browse through all of the photos after tapping on the featured image. Shared photos won’t take up any letter real estate, either—you’ll still be able to tweet 140 characters.
Twitter has been leafing pages from Facebook’s playbook for months now, and the addition of tagging photos is the most significant shift towards the Visual Web since the Twitter rolled out image previews in its timeline last year.
Twitter is also experimenting with a new layout that mimics Facebook. The new photo tagging and album system could signal a shift that turns Twitter into Facebook, Jr., a social media copycat that cherry-picks the features Facebook users “Like” the most. Of course, Facebook has been pursuing the same strategy, having already introduced hashtags on its platform last year.
The focus on images is also likely an attempt to attract a more mainstream audience—one that has trouble understanding Twitter’s 140-character bursts of information and prefer Facebook’s more friendly user interface.
The new features will start to appear today on iPhone, and will be available for Android and Twitter’s desktop site soon.
Image courtesy of Twitter