Twitter added two new features today; both designed to keep you on the platform for just a little bit longer.
First, they’ve expanded the definition of a “Direct Message” so that it includes a conversation with up to 20 people.
New! Use Direct Messages to speak privately with a group of up to 20 people. Share Tweets, show emoji & be yourself. https://t.co/8giGhC6OO0
— Twitter (@twitter) January 27, 2015
I say, if you’re having a conversation with 20 people on Twitter, you might as well have it in public because . . . . 20 people!
Remember, you can only send a direct message to someone who is following you but this update muddies the water a little. When you send a group direct message, each person has to be following you but they don’t have to be following each other. Does that mean the odd man out can or can’t see the replies from the other people? For this to work, everyone has to see every reply, right? So now, two people who don’t follow each other (maybe for a good reason) are now a part of the same, private conversation.
This could get ugly.
It could also be a handy way to share information with co-workers or connected customers; like all of the decision makers from one company.
You can also use this new feature to share a public tweet with a private group of people. In the example, a man shares a photo of a rabbit that he found on Twitter with a group of friends with the suggestion that they buy one as a gift for a ‘not-included in the DM list’ friend. I suggest they don’t.
The second new feature is the ability to capture, edit and share videos right from the Twitter app. The camera functionality is like Vine. You switch to camera mode then hold down the button to film. If you film in short bursts, you can then eliminate any clip with a swipe. What you leave behind will automatically splice itself together to create a video.
Now there’s no excuse for not using video on your business Twitter.
Twitter is slowly rolling out both of these options to all users. So keep watching your app for updates.