Twitter is upgrading its mobile apps to let users capture, edit and post videos — up to 30 seconds in length — as the social service looks to keep pace with rival Facebook as well as offer an alternative to YouTube for brief clips.
“We designed our camera to be simple to use so you can capture and share life’s most interesting moments as they happen,” Twitter director of product management Jinen Kamdar said in a blog post. “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.”
Neil Patrick Harris, who is hosting the 87th Academy Awards next month, used a 30-second Twitter video on Tuesday to announce that the songwriting team from Disney’s “Frozen” — Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez — will be participating in the show:
Twitter said it would roll out the video features out to all users “in the coming days.” Unlike videos posted to Facebook, user-shared clips on Twitter will not automatically play in someone’s feed. Twitter has allowed third-party providers — including YouTube — to embed video in tweets using the Cards feature.
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In addition to being able to capture and edit videos using Twitter’s apps for Android and iOS, the iPhone version will also let users upload videos from the camera roll (a feature expected to be available on the Twitter Android app soon).
Separately, Twitter has worked with TV networks like ESPN and other media partners to let them share video-based tweets, through the ad-sponsored Twitter Amplify program.
Also Tuesday, Twitter announced the addition of a feature that will let users send direct messages to multiple participants — allowing for private group conversations on the service.