With so many social media apps out there, Twitter remains one of our favourite social media apps to use due to its ability to keep us updated with the latest news. Now, the microblogging platform is giving us more reasons to stay with them through their 2 new features: private group direct messaging and mobile video capture.
That’s right, everyone. Twitter is basically offering us a combination of WhatsApp and Vine now.
Twitter first announced the plan to launch the consumer video product in November last year and the employees have been testing it internally before it’s officially launched. It is part of Twitter’s plans to make the platform easier to navigate and attract more people to download the app on their smartphones.
It serves as the alternative to Twitter-owned Vine and YouTube for brief clips through its new mobile camera feature.
The feature allows users to capture, edit, and post a video that has a 30-second time limit. Users just need to tap and hold their phone’s screen to record video in segments and delete a segment with a single tap. The feature shares the similar function as Vine as it allows users to rearrange Vine videos as well.
Twitter director of product management Jinen Kamdar said in a blog post:
We designed our camera to be simple to use so you can capture and share life’s most interesting moments as they happen. In just a few taps you can add a video to unfolding conversations, share your perspective of a live event, and show your everyday moments instantly, without ever having to leave the app.
Many may argue that the new feature will potentially kill off the Twitter-owned Vine but Jinen Kamdar, product director at Twitter, said that “Twitter video doesn’t threaten Vine” because Vine provides “short-form entertainment” while the new feature allows “breaking news to become a lot stronger and richer”.
You can now shoot, edit and share video on Twitter. Capture life's most moving moments from your perspective. pic.twitter.com/31JoMS50ha
— Twitter (@Twitter) January 27, 2015
Unlike Vine videos or the Facebook videos, the Twitter videos will not automatically play on your timeline. It will, however, increase user engagement as it gives them the reason to check out the videos regularly.
For now, the video feature is only available on iOS but Twitter said it will be available to all users “in the coming days”. iPhone users will be able to upload videos from the camera roll too and the feature is expected to arrive on Android soon.
The employees of Twitter may be the first team of people to use the new video camera feature but “Gone Girl” star Neil Patrick Harris appears to be the first Twitter user to tweet a video using the mobile video camera. As he will be hosting the 87th Academy Awards next month, the actor uploaded a 30-second Twitter video to announce the following exclusive news:
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) January 27, 2015
Direct message, the poor neglected feature of Twitter finally finds its chance to shine as the microblogging platform just launched a new DM feature that allows users to send direct messages to multiple participants in a private group conversation. And guess what? Users can send messages to a group of up to 20 people – which means there’s more privacy and less sub-tweets on your timeline.
What if you have less than 20 followers? Twitter thought about it too and therefore, the group DM feature allows anyone in the group to invite anyone who follows that person back. In fact, it doesn’t require the users to follow that person back, in which Twitter explains that it “gives you more options for how and with whom you communicate on Twitter.”
But that’s not all.
New! Use Direct Messages to speak privately with a group of up to 20 people. Share Tweets, show emoji & be yourself.https://t.co/8giGhC6OO0
— Twitter (@Twitter) January 27, 2015
The new group DM feature comes in a package because Twitter has restored the ability to include hyperlinks in DMs so that you don’t have to share a link like this -> “http://www(dot)hype(dot)my/” But what else in the package, you ask? Well, Twitter just launched a phone-based killer, “Digits”, and introduced a useful “while you were away” feature. It also has new tools for you to report abuse and harassment.
The new features may not be something new to you but it shows that the Twitter product team has really worked hard to provide these long-awaited features. In fact, we can always expect to see more from them.
What do you think of the new features? Do you think they are necessary? We think they are the next best things since Twitter introduced the ability to share and view animated GIFs on our Twitter’s timelines. Share your thoughts in the comments box below.