After popular demand, Twitter is adding two new functions to its arsenal: private group messaging and native video capabilities on Twitter, both of which reflect how people are communicating and sharing information on social media. Both features, according to a statement Twitter Product Director Jinen Kamdar, will roll out in the next few weeks.
As more and more of us use instant messaging services like WhatsApp and channel their inner documentarians by sharing videos in real time, Twitter wants to ride these trends by offering their own services. Right now, Twitter users can only send direct messages to one follower at a time, but the company thinks that being able to DM groups of people will be a useful additional component to the existing platform.
As for video sharing, Twitter currently allows users to share Vine videos, a service that the company bought in 2012 to incorporate into its medium. When the merge was initially rolled out, people went crazy over the ability to create and share six-second long Vine videos. Sharing videos made elsewhere is also huge on Twitter. However, as more social media channels enabled their users to create videos natively with the same platform that they're sharing on, Twitter realized that it had to catch up.
In November, the company teased its upcoming native video feature in a blog post, writing:
But aside from just watching video more easily on Twitter, you should be able to record, edit and share your own videos natively on Twitter too. Alongside short looping Vine videos, we think you’ll have fun sharing what’s happening in your world through native video. You can expect to see this in the first half of next year.
Private Group Messaging
The ability to direct message groups of people is intended to complement the public river of tweets that makes up Twitter's main component. Often, users will want to take their public discussions private if they want to go deeper and don't want to inundate their followers with countless back-and-forths. Now they can do that, and not only with their followers but also their followers' followers. Users can also invite anyone to join these chats.
Kamdar explained to Wired what makes Twitter's DM service unique:
The people you interact with on Twitter — publicly and privately — tend to be people you don’t know in real life. We think that the conversations you have with group DM could only happen on our app.
Twitter's new native video feature will probably revolutionize the way people tweet, if other social platforms offer any indication. Instagram video has been a huge success, and as other social giants like Facebook and Tumblr continue to experiment with video capabilities, Twitter knows it needs to jump on board. With the feature, users will be able to film, edit, and share 30-second videos (a huge jump from Vine's duration limits) using Twitter.If you think about it, it's a little baffling how these features, like private group messaging, haven't come sooner. Who hasn't been at a concert or sporting event or party and tweeted something, wishing they could also send video proof? I mean, it would blow "pics or it didn't happen" out of the water.
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