Mobile Marketing Social Media

Update: Twitter Rolls Out New Features

January 29, 2015

Earlier this month, we shared some product updates for Twitter that were announced during this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and now Twitter is rolling out these features faster than anticipated.

With a special announcement this past Tuesday from actor and 2015 Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris, Twitter formally revealed its new mobile video feature.

Twitter Officially Launches Mobile Video 
Twitter has been working diligently to improve users’ ability to create and share content over the last year.  Knowing tweets with rich media like Vines, audio, video and images perform over 300% better than those without (according to a Twitter media presentation), Twitter has looked for new opportunities for users to create that type of content within the app.  The new mobile video feature allows users to capture, edit and share 30-second videos directly from the Twitter app.  

Users have two options now in sharing mobile videos: they can record and edit videos within Twitter, and iPhone users can import videos to Twitter from the camera roll, a feature that will be available on Android in the coming weeks.  The new functionality also enables users to preview content via thumbnails and play videos with one tap.  The native videos will not autoplay in the timeline, but will continue to play if a user scrolls through the timeline.

For brands and users, Twitter’s video functionality opens up a wealth of opportunities for content creation and curation.  Brands are already testing the longer functionality (up to 10 minutes in length) as a way to share a video story in real-time, and the Oscars is already gearing up for Twitter video engagement – in the continued pursuit of keeping social at the forefront this award season.

Keep in Mind:  Native video is a great way to test out organic content and promote with paid media when they receive strong engagement.  Tweets with native video will be 30 seconds in length for both brands and users and can only be supported in a Promoted Tweet or Account.  Promoted Video allows brands to share up to 10 minutes of video content, but will need to be uploaded via a promoted campaign.

Twitter Brings Groups to Direct Messages

Twitter has also improved the platform’s Direct Message (DM) functionality.  Twitter created a more seamless process for users to transfer timeline conversations to DMs late last year, and is looking to extend this to a larger chat function with its latest update.  As of now, up to 20 users can engage within a DM conversation.

This update will help users move the larger, extended conversations that are currently taking place within their timelines – and that are harbored by character limits due to the many handles participating – to DM where their conversations can privately thrive and not tie up outside users’ timelines.  Interestingly for users, with this update it’ll be more about joining the right conversation, as opposed to any conversation.

For marketers, we recommend slowly dipping your toe into this multi-party DM pool.  While users do need to follow a brand to be added to its group chat, they do not all need to follow each other for them to chat within the group.  This could be a great way to create tactical conversations with a group of brand advocates or bloggers, but we would recommend treading lightly here in the beginning since these conversations can be shared so easily by others within the timeline.

Twitter Rolls Out “While You Were Away” Recaps
In case you missed it, Twitter has begun to roll out its “While You Were Away” feature.  The recap feature is one of the many updates to Twitter designed to increase the discoverability of content and consumer engagement.

How it works: Inactive users will be served popular content when they log back in or return to the Twitter app.  No matter how long a user may be logged out, Twitter will serve up content using its updated algorithm, including posts shared by profiles the user already follows, as well as popular content that speaks to the user’s interests and previous engagement behavior.

No word yet on how brands and advertisers may be able to carve out space within this new feature, but knowing that content can now have a longer shelf life should be a consideration during ideation and creation.  Brands should continue to focus on enhancing the discoverability of their content, but should certainly not deviate from the real-time and conversational nature of Twitter.

Overall, Twitter continues to create a better experience for users and brands alike, by prioritizing updates across the platform that make it easier for users to edit and share content via mobile, enhance conversations and improve discoverability.

Cover photo via Twitter