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Twitter Says It Has Improved the Way It Crops Images

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Jan 26, 2018, 8:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Photos that appear on Twitter should begin to look better over the coming weeks. The company says it has changed the algorithms it uses to automatically crop images and the results are much improved. Before this week, the company used a face-detection method to determine which portion of the image to show in users' feeds. Twitter eventually came to realize not all images contain faces, and even when they did the face-detection method sometimes focused on the wrong face or region of the photo. Moving forward, the company is employing a new method in determining how to crop photos. It is focusing on salient image regions, which are areas of high-contrast that contain objects such as people or animals that human eyes often seek first when viewing pictures. Scanning image saliency is often slow, so Twitter created several new techniques, called knowledge distillation and pruning, to speed up the process. The result, says Twitter, is a system that can scan photos for saliency in real-time as users post them. Photos with better cropping will appear on Twitter.com, as well as on the Android and iOS Twitter apps.


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