Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is expected to release his third album in 2017 ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Ed Sheeran is finally making a comeback. A year after embarking on a hiatus, the Thinking Out Loud singer returned to social media on 13 December with a cryptic post. Confirming that fresh music is on the horizon for 2017, one of Sheeran's co-writers has promised the British crooner will release his new album "really soon".

Taking to Twitter and Instagram, the 25-year-old singer simply shared a photo of a blue square with no caption prompting fans to speculate how it relates to his upcoming third album. The message comes a year to the day after Sheeran posted a farewell note to fans, announcing he would be taking a hiatus following the immensely successful release of his second album x (multiply).

Although Sheeran is remaining somewhat quiet for the moment, his longtime co-writer Amy Wadge has delivered an insight into his musical plans. Wadge told BBC's Newsbeat that Sheeran's new album will "break the Internet" and is set to arrive "really soon". The songwriter added: "The third album is on its way and is the best thing I've made. His album is done. All of this year he's been preparing for his next album."

Announcing his temporary departure from the spotlight, Sheeran wrote on 13 December 2015: "Hello all. I'm taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while, I've had such an amazing ride over the last 5 years but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I'm taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed.

"To my friends and family, if you love me you will understand me buggering off for a bit, to my fans, my 3rd album is on the way and is the best thing I've made thus far. See you all next album and thank you for being amazing."

The Photograph hitmaker could return to the charts sooner than 2017 having written the X Factor winner's single for Matt Terry. Sheeran teamed up with Wadge once again to pen When Christmas Comes Around fuelling Simon Cowell's hopes of claiming 2016's Christmas number one. Explaining how Sheeran's involvement with the ITV series came about, Wadge previously tweeted: "Here's the thing @edsheeran & I wrote a song a few wks ago Ed sent it to @SimonCowell and now it's the winners single."

Sheeran's critically-acclaimed second album x shot to number one in the UK and US Billboard 200 chart and has sold around eight million copies worldwide. The album also spawned a mammoth world tour, which included three sold-out nights at London's Wembley Stadium.

Listen to Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud: