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Gasp! Twitter displays pictures in main feed as IPO looms

For now, it's just Drake Hands*, but prepare yourselves for the ad tsunami

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Twitter is clogging up its timeline with pictures after modifying its service to make it more "visual". It's a clear move to prepare its users for more ads now that the company is about to go public on Wall Street.

Up until yesterday, anyone wanting to share videos or photos on the micro-blogging site, founded in 2006, could do so by embedding a link that - when clicked on - navigated netizens away from Twitter's main feed.

Now pics and vids appear alongside tweets that only contain text messages.

Arguably, Twitter had distinguished itself from other Web2.0 properties by sticking rigidly to a stream of words being displayed continuously on the service - but, by introducing images in this way, the site just became a lot noisier.

Admen will be delighted with the strategy because it means their visual promotions are now slotted into the main Twitter feed. Would-be investors, who have been concerned about the company's ability to turn its loss-making business into a profitable outfit, might also been encouraged by Twitter's latest move.

The company's users? Probably less so, based on a completely unscientific trawl through tweets from people tweeting outrage about the tweet tweak.

In its recent IPO filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter confessed that one of its biz risks related to newcomers to the site - who perhaps aren't part of the media2.0 webslut bubble - being "confused" about the product. Will the insertion of pretty pictures and vain vids really soothe their flickering eyes? ®

* Famously submitted to the /cringe subreddit, a vid of a man supposedly attempting to woo a young woman. The vid is now (in)famous both in Twitter and Instagram land.

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