Twitter has begun rolling out User Galleries, a new feature that should make the process of searching (and finding) images shared on Twitter a lot easier.
The galleries will show images — but not videos — that are shared on Twitter via many of the major photo upload/sharing tools, such as TwitPic, yFrog, Instagram and Twitter itself. (Twitter began accepting direct photo uploads earlier this month.)
If your account has access to the new feature, which was first spotted by SplatF, you’ll see a “Recent Images” content section on your (or any) Twitter profile page, and it has a “view all” links that leads to the gallery. (See the image above for an example.)
I’ve tried on about 8 different Twitter accounts that I can access, and none have been opted in yet, so here’s another screenshot from Twitter’s new User Galleries help page. This is the “grid” view.
That help page I linked to earlier explains some of the technical aspects of User Galleries. For example, if you do an “old style” retweet of someone else’s photo, that image will show up in your gallery, too. (But if you use the newer Retweet button, it won’t.) It also mentions that User Galleries will not include tweets with video links, and that galleries will be limited to the 100 most recent images associated with a Twitter account.
That limit is disappointing, but User Galleries on the whole should still improve photo search and discovery on Twitter. No longer will you need to scan through someone’s recent tweet history to find a certain image; it’ll be right there in the gallery … as long as it’s one of the most recent 100 images. What would be really great is if Twitter added “Tweets with Images” as an option on the advanced search page.
Twitter says User Galleries should be rolled out “soon” for all users, though a spokesperson declined to be more specific.