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Twitter is not an art gallery.

Stop using Twitter to upload your artwork.
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Twitter is not great for viewing media.

As an art enjoyer, I have a few grievances with Twitter that make it a chore to use every day. On Twitter, there is no easy way to simply browse art and only art. There's no tagging system like Tumblr, and Twitter's search feature often makes you miss a lot of posts. Basically, keyword search is completely worthless if you want to look for a specific kind of art, and no one is incentivized to use hashtags or use any text at all in their posts (unlike old Twitter, which only had text posts back in the day). Other sites are way better at finding art, because at least there are often tags and categories employed to filter down what you like. Unfortunately way too many artists use Twitter, which makes the site unavoidable if they don't post their art anywhere else.

Coping with Twitter's user interface is frustrating.

There are a few options to try and mitigate all this. You can follow artists directly on your account, but this comes with a whole host of annoyances. First of all, whenever you follow someone you are automatically subscribed to all of their retweets, often from people you don't care about. You will have to mute all the accounts you never asked for, or disable retweets on that account entirely.

You can also use the "lists" feature to keep track of artists, but lists have their own problems. Lists show every single tweet and retweet without any filter, but most of the time someone is constantly flooding your list with garbage. These low quality posts don't get filtered out unless you use TweetDeck to block retweets and text posts for the entire list. Lists also have a limit to how many posts you can view, which gets worse the more users (and thus more posts) you have in your list. If there's a user spamming your list you'll never see anyone else's posts because of this.

There are a lot of garbage tweets out there; everything from memes to politics to crowdfunding and advertisements, none of which I want to see. A clever way around this is to only follow people that already follow other artists and do not retweet any other junk. This way all the filtering is done for you by someone else to save you time. Also, because it's not in a list, you get the benefits of the timeline algorithm only showing you art that is actually relevant.

Why you should actually use a proper art site.

Technically, the workarounds I've discussed are not a true solution. If everyone followed these directions then there'd be no one to wade through the mess in the first place, but it works for me. The true solution would be to upload your artwork to a place that people can easily search, tag and view all of your art.

I have to say that even as an artist, uploading to Twitter is extremely annoying. There is no easy way to organize or tag anything I upload, and no way to edit old posts. Your images get compressed and blurred without having any say in the matter of how they're viewed or cropped. If you delete anything, you lose all your "engagements", which effectively wastes all your time spent in the first place. Eventually, your Twitter profile fills up with infuriating out-of-order reposts and duplicates. It's unusable as an art portfolio.

My plea to other artists is to find an actual gallery site, or even make your own website. Twitter is going to ban NSFW content once they're knee-deep in all the trafficking lawsuits. Your audience will appreciate you treating your work with some respect, and they will enjoy your work even more.

Tags: twitter