Twitter has announced a pair of new features that’ll give the microblogging platform some much-needed core functionality in the face of stiff competition.
The first is the ability to send private messages – known in the Twitterverse as Direct Messages, or DMs – to groups of up to 20 people. Fortunately, those you add to a private chat don’t all need to be following one another in order to participate (imagine the nightmare that would present). When a user is added to a group, they’ll get a notification.
The obvious motivator here is messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp which have no doubt lured some Twitter users away in recent times.
Twitter has also added in-app video support that lets users capture, edit and share videos directly without having to leave the app. Clips can be captured on the spot or uploaded from a camera roll although both will be limited in length to 30 seconds.
Videos will post straight to your timeline and fortunately, they won’t auto-play.
The new features are rolling out to Android and iOS mobile app users over the coming weeks. Even if you don’t have the new features yet, you’ll be able to participate in group conversations started by others and watch any public videos that users post.
As I mentioned, the new features add a lot of core functionality to Twitter although I can’t help but get the impression that these longer 30-second clips could spell the end for Vine. Twitter product director Jinen Kamdar promises that’s not the case, however, as the two products will have their own distinct use scenarios.