Twitter isn’t a photo sharing platform. It has been slow to develop its photo sharing feature and like many social media apps, it compresses images. Images are converted to JPEG which is a lossy format. It’s not the format you want to use for HD images. If you do need to upload a good quality image on Twitter, there’s a little trick you can use to disable image compression on Twitter.
Twitter will apply compression to an image unless it has transparency. This is a problem if your image doesn’t need to be transparent but if it has just one transparent pixel, it’s enough to disable image compression on Twitter.
Image compression on Twitter
There are two ways to disable image compression on Twitter. You can use an image editor to add a one pixel line to the top of your image. Do not fill it with anything i.e., no color, nothing. Make sure you save it with the PNG file format.
If this is tedious for you, or you don’t have an image editor that can do the job (both GIMP and Paint.Net work though), you can use a web app called Twitter image-compression preventer.
Visit the web app and drag & drop the image you want to share on Twitter on to the app. It will add the empty pixel and save the image. If you want, you can enable the ‘Display the fixed image instead of saving it’ option and the edited image will be displayed in your browser.
The image is saved with the PNG format and it won’t be compressed. You can expect the quality of the image to be preserved after the app converts it.
The reason PNG and the transparent pixel forces Twitter to not use JPEG is that JPEG as an image format doesn’t support transparency. If it detects that users want to share an image with transparency in it, no matter how small the transparent portion is, it will have to use a format that can accurately display it.
If you’re on your phone, and a vast majority of Twitter users do tweet from their phones, you can use this app from your phone as well. To upload an image, tap and hold on the Upload area until a menu appears asking you to select an image from your camera roll. Select it and select an image from your camera roll to upload. It’s not built for smartphones though so it’s going to take a few attempts to get the image.