As you can see in this notification, posted by @WFBrother, Twitter is adding new visual enhancement tools which will enable users to add ‘stickers, text, crops and more’ to your uploaded videos and images, then attach them to your tweets, potentially giving them more presence and creative flair in the feed.
We first reported on this test back in September (which feels like last week), which at that stage had not been released to the public, but now, users are starting to see the new options appear in their Twitter app.
As you can see here, the update adds a new UI for your tweet visuals, which looks more streamlined and more aligned to the visual editing tools in other apps, while also providing additional options.
@WFBrother also posted these images of the current visual editor (left) and the new format side-by-side for comparison.
In terms of enhancements, Twitter’s essentially taken the key visual elements of Fleets and added them to this new UI, which provides more ways to create full-screen visual displays within your tweeted images.
Which Twitter said that it was going to do. Back in August, as part of its announcement on the retirement of Fleets, Twitter noted that it would be taking the lessons that it had learned from the option and applying them to new areas of development.
“Soon, we’ll test updates to the Tweet composer and camera to incorporate features from the Fleets composer – like the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers.”
So this is essentially that – and as noted it could provide more ways to put together more creative, stand-out tweets, especially given Twitter’s updated visual display format that now shows larger images within tweet streams.
In some ways, it’s a bit sad to see Fleets reduced to such a small add-on for tweeted visuals.
That’s even more the case when you also consider that Twitter acquired Chroma Stories last year, a visual editor focused on the Stories format, which seemed to point to Twitter adding some interesting, creative visual additions and templates aligned with the option.
Lack of user interest, of course, saw Fleets killed off before they arrived, but Chroma’s visual stylings and tools did look interesting, and I was looking forward to seeing what Twitter could do with the added options.
But now, it seems like Twitter is just salvaging what it can of the dev work it put into Fleets. And while Twitter has also noted that Fleets did facilitate more engagement for some users in the app, it’s clearly no longer a priority to integrate these tools and options – which is a shame, because they do seem like they could have provided some unique, interesting visual elements, if they could have been executed effectively.
But that’s just speculation, what we do know is that Twitter tried out Fleets and not many people cared, or not enough to justify keeping it. So now we have these new visual tools instead, which could be interesting, but seem less so than what might have been.
Still, maybe Twitter has something else planned – maybe, among the company’s myriad of other projects, there’s more in store for tweet visuals that we haven’t seen yet.
Till then, we’ll have to settle for a new visual editor. We’ve asked Twitter for more info on the rollout of the new options and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.
UPDATE: Twitter has provided the following info on the new camera features:
“We’re testing some new updates to the Twitter Camera and Twitter Gallery that will give our customers more ways to creatively express themselves in their Tweets.”
The test is only available to a small group of users at this stage.