High Resolution Image Uploads are a Pain

Man on an elevator checking his phone

As mobile device cameras increase in quality, high resolution image uploads pose a real problem for businesses. Let us take you through a scenario: you’re out in public, and that picture of your dog needs to be shared on your Twitter. The connection is not ideal but you’ve managed in worse connection situations before: conferences, concerts, sporting events, you name it. You decide to give it a try, and as time goes by, impatience leads to frustration and the tweet fails.

You receive an email from Twitter the following day and notice one section in particular:

Here is a screenshot of a Twitter software update detailing high resolution image uploads.

What makes high resolution image uploads difficult?

Twitter has about 330 million active users. Each user is on Twitter’s platform to share one’s life moments and opinions. A big vehicle of that expression of thought is images. A picture is worth a thousand words. Millions of users upload images every day, every hour to Twitter. A couple of factors compound this problem of uploading images (especially high-resolution images). Let’s take a look at a few.

Image quality and size: Cameras on mobile devices are getting better by the day. There is a race to pack as many pixels as possible per inch. This is great! The quality of the images gets better with every update. However, this high resolution comes at a cost of space. While lossless image compression to reduce the size of high resolution images gets a lot of focus, it’s being out paced by the steep climb in the average size of images. Image size is a problem in two ways:

1) The number of images you can store on a mobile device

2) Uploading these images to applications over unreliable mobile networks. The first is for consumers and phone companies to solve, but the second is not. Let’s discuss that next.

Mobile connectivity: The idea of Twitter is to share events at the spur of the moment. There is high value in sharing a thought or an opinion on an event as it happens: via text or better still with an image. If you are at an amazing Ed Sheeran show, you want to take some stellar images and videos, and upload them to share the moment with others. There are ten thousand other Ed Sheeran concert-goers who are doing the same. This network congestion is an enemy of high resolution images and videos, causing immense frustration to those who want to share this moment. It happens in every walk of life – coffee shops, in the subway, conferences. Think of all the times you were trying to upload a file and the upload failed. Mobile networks are unreliable. WAN connectivity is unreliable. Packet loss, latency, congestion is commonplace.

How do we solve this problem?

At Filestack, we understand this problem to its core. We are the leaders in content ingestion and understand what it takes to upload files (large and small) over reliable and unreliable networks, from desktops and mobile devices alike, from any part of the globe. With almost a billion files uploaded via our platform, we have built our core competency in ingesting content at scale – reliably, securely and swiftly. To precisely solve the problem of unreliable mobile connectivity, we developed Intelligent Ingestion™. With Intelligent Ingestion™ (FII), we are constantly monitoring the surrounding conditions to understand the quality of the mobile connectivity to upload files. We track latency and congestion on the network and our platform alters the algorithms to dynamically scale upload chunk size, timeouts and intelligent retry logic. This ensures that a file (no matter how large) will be uploaded to the cloud, guaranteed.

What value does this bring?

Our customers want to provide the best user experience to their users, and we are not going to let unreliable mobile connectivity get in the way of providing that exceptional experience. If our customers want their users to capture an awesome picture or video at the next Ed Sheeran show, they can rest assured their picture will be uploaded securely and reliably.

We always welcome conversation about our products, so if you want to learn more about Filestack Intelligent Ingestion™ or our Content Ingestion Network™, please take a look. You can also register for a free Filestack account to take advantage of easy to integrate uploading, transformation and delivery.

We hope we have shed some light on the barriers to reliable high resolution image uploads, and please feel free to comment your own opinion.

Thanks for reading!


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