Twitter has banned the use of animated PNGs (APNG) from the platform due to not respecting the autoplay settings of the platform. Concerns also rose that APNGs would affect users sensitive to motion, and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy.
The social media giant issued a response on Twitter. Describing APNGs as more of a bug than a feature, Twitter said: “APNGs were fun, but they don’t respect autoplay settings, so we’re removing the ability to add them to Tweets.”
We want everyone to have a safe experience on Twitter.
APNGs were fun, but they don’t respect autoplay settings, so we’re removing the ability to add them to Tweets. This is for the safety of people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy. https://t.co/Suogtrop1u
— Twitter Accessibility (@TwitterA11y) December 23, 2019
The APNG “bug” allowed users to bypass autoplay settings and string up to four animated images into a tweet. This has spun many accounts to stitch together popular movie scenes and created the now short ran “Hope this worked” meme.
The speed of which Twitter removed this bug was in part due to potential threats against epileptic users. Last month, the Epilepsy Foundation handle and the hashtag was attacked by trolls, who sent secure-inducing images to photo-sensitive users on the platform. According to Yahoo, Twitter revealed that they have received no indication that APNGs were used to attack anyone on the platform.
Another reason Twitter was quick to remove the bug was due to reports that APNGs may cause the app to crash.
Twitter has notified the userbase that any current APNGs created and published will still run just fine. However, moving forward, if you’re looking to tweet out any animated imagery, it’s back to the old fashioned GIFs.