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in my app, a user would have a set of posts.

Some posts (like 50% of em) would have media attached, while some of them would not.

There are several instances where I would like to give thumbnails for these posts. Those w images are straightforward, but I am betting that there is a way to create classy thumbnails based on text.

Here is an example (the images with ABC are the posts w/o images)

enter image description here

I have the following ideas, would love for either suggestions or augmentations to this:

  • use a standard, classy image for all text posts
  • generate thumbnails on backend based on first few letters
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Let's discuss the ideas you are putting forward and understand how they could work.

"use a standard, classy image for all text posts"

If the user is writing something without images, you can always have them select a category from a dropdown list that will help categorize their post based on the content. These categories, in turn, would have images associated with them. The images could be iconic (a '+' to represent health, for instance) and easily recognizable to users from around the world.

"generate thumbnails on backend based on first few letters"

This is tricky - how would this work and what would that thumbnail convey to the user? If the post is about pets and the first three letters are: 'The' then that would appear as an icon? The first idea (standard image) works much better.

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If your posts have a titles, use them.

If not, may idea from this page (at the bottom) could came in handy. It's a Q&A site, and part of questions are text-only. In the 'Related questions' part of the page they show first several sentences of each question if it has no image attached:

enter image description here

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