In a recent development regarding the use of animated PNG (APNG) files on Twitter, the social networking giant has announced that APNGs will no longer be supported on its platform. To further elaborate on the matter, APNGs reportedly don’t respect the autoplay settings and can be used by trolls to trigger seizures in people who have epilepsy. Additionally, posting animated PNGs in a tweet can cause performance issues for the app.
According to a tweet by Twitter Accessibility, the company wants to create a safe environment for its users. And while APNGs are fun to use, they don’t respect the autoplay settings. Moreover, not just APNGs but any sort of imagery which is on a loop can become dangerous for people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy.
Apart from this, Twitter also thinks APNGs ignore the platform’s safeguards and cause performance issues for the Twitter app on users devices whenever they post multiple animated images to a tweet using animated PNG files.
We recently found a bug that lets you add multiple animated images to a Tweet using Animated PNG files. APNGs ignore our safeguards and can cause performance issues for the app and your device. Today we’re fixing the bug which will no longer allow APNGs to animate when Tweeted.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 23, 2019
Now before you think that you won’t be able to use animated images in your posts on Twitter, well you will be able to, it is just that you will need to use GIFs going forward.
Additionally, a tweet by Twitter Engineering further explains, that using PNGs for animation is difficult. And using them can cause an app to work slowly, it can increase the RAM usage on a device or even cause the app to crash frequently. This can further cause for an unpleasant Twitter experience, and there’s little that can be done to avoid it.
So, moving forward APNGs will no longer be supported on Twitter. Additionally, previously uploaded APNG files will not be removed, just in case if you might be wondering. And the team at Twitter will work on bringing a similar feature that’s better for you and your experience. With that said, this still doesn’t make Twitter a totally safe place for photo-sensitive people since trolls can still use GIFs to try and harm them, but at least the social networking giant has taken a step which is in the right direction.