Until now, seeing an image attached to a tweet has required tapping on a link, leaving Twitter out of step with highly visual social networks like Facebook and Instagram. That begins to change today with an update that will insert previews of images and Vines directly into tweets on the web and in Twitter's iOS and Android apps. To see the entire image or Vine, just tap on it.

The update also makes the timeline a bit more interactive by allowing you to reply, retweet or favorite tweets without leaving the timeline. By themselves, the updates are minor. But they show how intent Twitter is on making its core product more approachable to the mainstream, who are used to social networks that are rich with images and easy to interact with directly from the main activity feed.