A few months ago Twitter promised some new features. The microblogging service made good on that promise Tuesday with an all-new group messaging and mobile experience.
As Twitter sees it, private conversations on its social media platform complement the largely public experience on the platform. Twitter figures a good number of its members may prefer to reach, or watch, tweets but talk about them privately, continue public conversations privately with smaller groups, or start private conversations based on tweets that they saw.
The group function lets you start conversations with any of your Twitter followers. They don’t all need to follow one another in order to chat. You can create a private group with a few taps. If someone adds you to a private group, you’ll get a notification.
Useful for Business?
We caught up with Greg Sterling, vice president of Strategy and Insights at the Local Search Association, to get his take on the new Twitter features and their business appeal. He told us group messaging has the potential to be a useful workplace collaboration tool.
“However, Twitter has the broader public in mind with this new feature. The company needs to create more use cases and deepen engagement among more casual users,” Sterling said. “Group messaging adds utility but it's a bit of a blank canvas. Just like Twitter itself, users will create a ‘culture’ around group messaging, which could turn out to be a business productivity and collaboration tool.”
Many Twitter members already use direct messages to reach the people and brands they've only connected to on Twitter, Jinen Kamdar, a product director at Twitter, wrote in a blog post. “Whatever the case may be, the ability to converse privately with groups gives you more options for how and with whom you communicate on Twitter,” Kamdar said.
Adding Video to Conversations
On the video front, Kamdar stressed that the Twitter you use today is much different than the original version with 140 characters of text alone. The 2015 Twitter stream includes photos, images, Gifs, Vines, audio files and videos from everyday Joes, celebrities and well-known brands. Now, Twitter is allowing you to capture, edit and share videos directly from the Twitter app.
“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,” Kamdar said. “Viewing and playing videos is just as simple: videos are previewed with a thumbnail and you can play them with just one tap.”
Twitter’s mobile video camera and inline editing lets you capture and share videos up to 30 seconds. Twitter for iPhone users will be able to upload videos from the camera roll as well, and soon on Android devices. The features will officially roll out in the next few weeks.
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