Once again angling for a bigger, more engaged slice of the social-media pie, Twitter today debuted two new share-happy features: mobile video recording and group Direct Messaging.
The company announced both of the previously teased new additions to its bells-and-whistles lineup on its blog this morning. The new capabilities appear to be designed to keep users within Twitter’s ecosystem longer.
Taking aim at the booming instant messaging app market, the San Francisco-based social giant now enables its 284 million users to take part in private group conversations using its inaugural group Direct Message option. Twitter says the feature is for when you “want to continue a public conversation privately with a smaller group, or start one based on a Tweet you saw.”
Group Direct Message lets you speak privately with up to 20 followers at a time -- even if your followers don’t follow each other. (Hmmm, we smell an onslaught of group PR pitches, don't you?) Twitter users can also swap emojis and tweets when group direct messaging.
The other new feature, a mobile video camera, parrots Twitter’s own massively successful Vine looping video app and mega competitor Instagram. Twitter users can now capture, edit and share videos directly from its iOS and Android mobile apps. The fresh video feature will allow for clips of up to 30-seconds in length, pushing tweets past the traditional 140-character max.
For now, only Twitter for iOS users will have the added ability to upload videos from their device’s camera roll. Android users can expect to do the same “soon,” Twitter says.
Seen this yet? The first Tweet using our mobile video camera: https://t.co/lGqqn1wBq6— Twitter (@twitter) January 27, 2015
Twitter is notably late to the native video game, embracing the highly viral content medium two years after its Vine launch and almost two years after Instagram enabled video.
Aggressively working to turn around stalling sign-ups and usage, Twitter rolled out another new tool just last week -- the Recap “while you were away” feature, also aimed at keeping users in its clutch longer. The curated tweet tool catches you up on relevant tweets that you might have missed when you stepped away from the micro-blogging mecca.