Apart from making changes to the way it operates, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also working on funding the development of a decentralized social media platform that will make enforcing global policies and addressing abuse and misinformation easier.
On a second note, the company is also improving the way it processes image uploads so that the JPEG encoding will be preserved while uploading the images. In simple terms, high-resolution JPEG images won’t lose their quality when you upload them to Twitter.
In a Twitter thread, Jack Dorsey announced that the platform will be funding a project called ‘Bluesky’. The project engineers, designers, and architects will be responsible for finding an existing decentralization standard that will either be used to create an open and decentralized standard for social media. The company will hire a team of five open-source architects, designers, and engineers to do this.
Dorsey says that Twitter was once more open, however, over time it has become more centralized, hence, enforcing global policies has become difficult. He adds,
The value of social media is shifting away from content hosting and removal and towards recommendation algorithms directing one’s attention. Unfortunately, these algorithms are typically proprietary, and one can’t choose or build alternatives. Yet.
According to him, the widespread use of decentralization technologies like blockchain has made this concept more workable.
Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. 🧵
— jack (@jack) December 11, 2019
Apart from contributing to the world’s social media standards, Twitter is also working on improving its own platform. Recently, engineer Nolan O’Brien announced that the platform will no longer downscale the quality of the uploaded images.
Previously, the uploaded images were transcoded, resulting in lower quality which was always a bummer for photographers. The announcement was made in a tweet where Nolan also uploaded a sample photo.
Starting today, Twitter will preserve JPEGs as they are encoded for upload on Twitter for Web. (Caveat, cannot have EXIF orientation)
— Nolan O'Brien (@NolanOBrien) December 11, 2019
Thumbnail and previews, on the other hand, will still be transcoded and the EXIF data will still be discarded. For the unaware, the EXIF data is the picture’s metadata that holds information like when the picture was taken and other information.
In any case, it’s a welcome change and will help improve the user experience on Twitter.