Twitter keeps trying to counter competitors by expanding its features. Now the company introduced new mobile video uploads and group direct messages. As for the first new feature, it will allow users to upload 30sec non-looping videos that can be played back right from their timelines. Twitter claimed that the feature would be existing “alongside” with Twitter-owned 6sec video service Vine. iPhone users will be able to upload videos from their camera roll right away, but Android users will have to wait for such a feature.
As for the second feature, the group direct messaging will allow to chat with multiple friends privately, i.e. away from their timelines. Other improvements were also made to DM functionality – for example, the ability to send pictures. You will be able to add multiple followers into the group chats. Then they will also be able to add their own followers.
It should be noted that a decision to add new features to direct messaging was a major reversal from just a couple months ago – at the time, Twitter neglected the functionality almost to the point of death. For example, in 2014, no links could be sent in DM except for whitelisted sites.
Now Twitter claimed that the company has focused on the public side of the social media for quite a long time, making sure that the timeline experience, profiles, search, and all other things were “robust, engaging, strong useful experiences”. Apparently, after the company achieved all of that, it started to invest in the private messaging space. The company believes that it is a really nice complement to all the work done by Twitter on the public side.
However, it seems like not everyone would be really happy about the introduction of the new features. For example, third-party app developers already feel the squeeze from limitations on the number of users they are allowed to have. Now they are afraid of being locked out of the new features at the very beginning, and may never receive full access to them.
The company is expected to provide further instructions on the new features, as for now it just announced that clients and developers would be able to play videos back. In the meantime, no announcement has been made for group DMs yet, but Twitter is definitely looking at how to improve direct messaging on all sides, according to the descriptions of the latest versions of Twitter apps in the online app stores.