Twitter has announced they are going to include group messaging and video in their service to users. These are features that are currently assimilated into other social media services like Facebook and Instagram. So, in a way Twitter is simply keeping up with the Joneses. Product designer Jenin Kamdar explains that, for those who feel these new functions might dilute the sanctity of the 140-character rule, Twitter has exceeded this rule for quite some time. Users have been able attach photos, videos, and audio files for a long time which has already added to the overall context.
Kamdar has also said these new functions have actually been tested by Twitter employees and have passed their test. This is different from other functions that Twitter has implemented in the past. The company is interested to see how real world users apply the functions. Twitter is implementing the new messaging and video tools along with the newest versions of iOS, TweetDeck, and android apps on Tuesday. However, the video and messaging functions included in the service upgrade will not be available to all users at once. They will be gradually added to users Twitter accounts over the next couple of weeks.
The group messaging function will provide the ability to communicate privately amongst a specific set of individuals from your groups. These individuals, who are your followers, will be notified of your communications upon your request, but your recipients do not have to be following each other. The function will allow you to choose up to 20 people to include in your group message and will only require a few taps to create.
Perhaps more exciting is the video function that will be added. It will also be relatively easy to create with just a few taps. The goal of the design of this function is to allow users to easily capture important moments in their lives and have the ability to share those with the world. The function will allow 30 seconds of recording time, which should be enough time to capture the essence of any situation. The video will also allow you inline editing. This means that the user will be able to rearrange the order of their videos if they wish to create a longer video from several different recordings. The source of these videos can be from the app itself or from the roll on their iPhone. This function will be available for Android users soon.
Neil Patrick Harris sent the first video tweet from the Oscars. Twitter deciding to include group messaging and the video function in their service is a step in the direction of providing a more inclusive service to its users. These new functions are also being well received by Twitter investors who see Dick Costolo, the new chief executive, as bringing Twitter up to speed. The company has been seen as moving at a snail’s pace in keeping up with its competitors and this upgrade changes that. Whether there will be more innovations within the company as part of this new shakeup is uncertain. Right now it looks like Twitter is simply anxious to see how the public receives this round of new functions to play with.
By Joel Wickwire
Photo by marek.sotak – License