On January 27th, 2015, Twitter announced via its blog two very cool, new features that will be available to Twitter users:

  • Group direct messaging; and
  • Mobile video experience.

The group direct messaging feature will allow a Twitter user to privately communicate with up to 20 potential followers, in a discreet conversation. While certainly the ability to communicate more broadly with a group of followers is the “Twitter way,” I can see how group direct messaging could have a high level of appeal for groups that might not otherwise want their tweets to be seen by the masses. Also, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have a lot of cell phone or email numbers for people that I interact with (hence why I love my anonymity), so I can’t wait to try this new feature.

The second new feature I am very excited about is the new mobile Twitter video experience which will allow mobile users to shoot 30-second videos directly from the Twitter application.My first attempt to shoot a video was completed in a traditional way by holding my iPhone horizontally, so that I would ultimately be able to upload the same video onto YouTube and avoid the dreading black stripes along the sides. Unfortunately when I shot the video in the Twitter application horizontally, Twitter was unable to rotate the image so that the Twitter video would be viewed correctly. Take Two.

As you can see, the video shot within the Twitter video application works quite well. For those users that open the tweet within a mobile device, the Twitter video will automatically start playing. However, on a desktop version, one will need to click on the play button. Not so good with TweetDeck, where the first frame of the video is captured as a picture.

Over the next several weeks, mobile users should start to see the ability to the video camera function when they attempt to take a picture within Twitter. For me, this function was rolled out today to one of my iPhone 5s’, but not the other. To shoot a Twitter video, tap on the red camera, which will then switch you to video mode. Once in video mode, you will need to hold down the video button for the duration of your video unless you have created a multi-gesturing shortcut that would allow you to shoot the video hands free.

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Personally for me, the ability to shoot directly a Twitter video is a much needed tool to complete with its’ own Vine platform (a six-second loop) or Instagram (a 15-second video). There are many different applicable uses for individuals and brands to reach their followers all within Twitter, without ever having to leave the application. I don’t know about you, but I can wait to see how people will use Twitter video. I can’t wait for what we’ll create.