Federico Viticci of MacStories provides some context for so-called textshots with the upcoming release of Wikipedia’s new app:
“The practice of sharing ‘textshots’ – screenshots of text, as they’re often referred to – has taken off among certain tech niches for two reasons. First, turning text into a static image is a primitive but effective workaround to circumvent Twitter’s 140-character limitations. But more importantly, humans have a natural tendency for convenience and visual feedback, and these two aspects are combined in the art of well crafted textshots: they save you a click, and they make shared passages of text more visually appealing.”
I don’t like textshots. They’re like DRM for tweets: a trade-off that obscures real metadata and text selection just to hack around Twitter’s limitations.
If I were building a Twitter-like social network, I’d certainly allow basic HTML styled text and inline images in a microblog post, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to encourage textshots.