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Vine's Newest Competitor Is Here: Twitter's Own Video Service

You can now capture and share videos directly through the Twitter app.

Yulia Grigoryeva/ Shutterstock

Prepare to see a lot more video in your Twitter stream.

Twitter launched its new consumer video product Tuesday, which allows users to record, edit and tweet video clips directly through the app.


In typical Twitter fashion, videos taken within the app or uploaded from the camera roll will have a 30-second time limit akin to Vine’s six-second limit or the 140-character limit for tweets. That also suggests this new video feature could effectively kill Vine, though the company says it is dedicated to both products.

Re/code reported earlier this month the product was close to shipping, and that Twitter has been testing it internally with employees. Twitter first announced the product was coming at analyst day in November, but didn’t specify a launch date.

Video is important to Twitter for a number of reasons. Perhaps most significantly, the company believes that more video could drive more user engagement. If people are creating and consuming video within their Timelines, it gives them another reason to check the app more regularly.

The new feature could also benefit Twitter’s video advertising efforts by getting its users more accustomed to videos in their streams.

Plus, when Twitter expands its video ad efforts down the road, it’ll have more data on which users watch the most video content, a sign they may be more receptive to video ads. (Facebook is doing something similar.)

The arrival of consumer video also carries significance for another one of Twitter’s properties: Vine. For the past two years, Vine has served as Twitter’s sole video offering for regular users (non-advertisers). The new Twitter video tool has a number of striking similarities.

The new feature allows users to capture video in segments, and edit or rearrange them in the same way you can edit Vine videos. Both Vine and Twitter video are also under a time limit, and play within Twitter’s timeline. For many people, Vine was the best way to capture video with the sole purpose of sharing to Twitter. For that use case, Vine now becomes obsolete.

Jinen Kamdar, product director at Twitter, says Twitter video doesn’t threaten Vine, and that the two products have different use cases. Vine is for “short-form entertainment,” he said. Twitter video? “Some of the Twitter use cases like breaking news will become a lot stronger and richer,” he added.

The new feature will roll out slowly to iOS and Android users beginning Tuesday, and will be available to all users in the coming weeks, according to Kamdar.

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