Twitter has introduced video clip and group messaging features in a bid to keep up with its competitors.
Apple iOS and Android users will be able to shoot 30-second, non-looping video clips and upload them directly to Twitter without relying on third-party apps or external links.
Jinen Kamdar, product director at Twitter, explained on the Twitter blog that the videos can be viewed and played directly within a user's timeline.
"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," he said.
Some may be relieved to hear that videos will not be played automatically, avoiding any potentially embarrassing moments when browsing tweets in public.
The native feature sits alongside Twitter-owned Vine, which enables six-second looping videos to be embedded into tweets.
Kamdar said that the video feature is rolling out on iOS devices first, followed by Android soon after.
Twitter has also added group messaging as a way to start conversations on the social network with multiple followers even if they do not follow each other.
Kamdar explained that the function allows users to have group conversations privately.
Conversations on Twitter were private only if they were direct messages between individual users. Conversations involving more than two users generally required the exchange tweets to be publically visible.
The video below shows the group messaging in action.
The additions help to level the playing field between Twitter and rival Facebook.
The ability for group messaging to target users who may not be mutual followers could help Twitter stand apart from its rivals.
It could also give companies using Twitter a marketing tool to communicate with multiple customers in a more direct way.
It is yet to be seen whether this feature will annoy those who wish to communicate privately only with their followers.
The reactions so far appear to be positive:
YASSSSS RT @twitter: New! Use Direct Messages to speak privately with a group of up to 20 people. Share Tweets, show emoji & be yourself.— #4.5.Seconds (@Rihsus_Christ) January 27, 2015
@twitter i knew this was coming ! wasn't sure when, but, it's about time! great job twitter— Lexi Dogon (@lexidogon) January 27, 2015
2015 is shaping up to be a year of expansion for Twitter. The recent acquisition of ZipDial demonstrated ambitions to expand its presence in India.
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