Twitter has announced that it will be rolling out two updates that will include video detection with a new video carousel and improve the user experience of watching full-screen video.
Users immediately noticed that it resembled the TikTok style of video discovery and viewing.
Reactions were both positive and skeptical.
These two changes will be available in the Twitter Explore feature, both of which are now available on Apple’s iOS.
Explore is a Twitter feed that contains a stream of tweets selected according to the user’s interests.
It is available in the Twitter app and mobile site through the magnifying glass icon, where tabs reveal categories of trending topics such as, For You, Trending and News.
New Carousel Video.
Twitter will begin adding new video carousels from which users can choose popular videos to watch, including movie teasers.
Twitter announced in a tweet:
“Now on iOS, the videos on your timeline will open in our full-screen immersive video player, where you can swipe to continue discovering more content.”
Twitter described how the new feature will make it easy to find more videos.
“Some of you on iOS and Android will also see recommended content in the new video carousel on the Explore “For You” page.
Want to go back to the scroll? Tap the back arrow in the upper left corner to exit the player to go back to where you left off.”
The second change is an update to Twitter video playback.
Now all you have to do to expand the video when using the app is click to enjoy the video in full screen mode.
The update also adds functionality that makes it easier to keep watching more videos.
According to Twitter’s official blog announcement:
“Once the video was launched in full screen mode, we made video discovery easier as well.
Just scroll up to start watching more engaging video content.
If you want to exit the view and go back to the original Tweet, click the back arrow in the upper left corner.” User response to Twitter announcement
The new video feed was immediately and understandably compared to TikTok by Twitter users.
Episodically, responses to the ad seemed to be evenly divided between users who appreciated the opportunity to spend time on the video and those who didn’t like it because they felt Twitter was changing to become Twitter.
Videos on Twitter.
Videos have always been part of the Twitter experience.
But Twitter’s lack of a feature to discover and enjoy videos made video discovery secondary to the text-based experience of reading tweets.
The lack of video retrieval seemed to be an omission, as videos were available but difficult to discover as a separate form of content, other than stumbling across interesting ones at random.
While comparisons to TikTok seem inevitable, it is also inevitable that videos will become easier to find and watch on Twitter.