Twitter announced that it will be rolling out two updates that will incorporate video discovery with a new video carousel and improve the user experience of watching full screen videos.
It was immediately noted by users to resemble a TikTok-style of discovering and watching videos.
The response was both positive and skeptical.
The two changes will be available in the Twitter Explore feature, with both features now available on Apple’s iOS.
Explore is a Twitter feed that features a curated stream of tweets that are selected according to a user’s interests.
It’s available on the Twitter app and mobile site through a magnifying glass icon where tabs reveals categories of trending topics such as, For you, Trending and News.
New Video Carousel
Twitter will begin adding a new video carousel from which a user can select popular videos to watch, including movie teasers.
Twitter announced in a tweet:
“Now on iOS, videos on your timeline will open in our full screen immersive video player, where you can swipe up to keep discovering more content.”
Twitter described how the new feature will make it easy to keep discovering more videos.
“Some of you on iOS and Android will also see recommended content in a new video carousel on the Explore “For You” page.
Want to go back to scrolling? Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to exit the player to go right back to where you left off.”
Immersive Video Player
The second change is to update Twitter’s video playback.
Now all it takes to expand a video when using the app is to tap in order to enjoy a video in full screen mode.
The update also adds a functionality that makes it easier to keep on watching more videos.
According to the official Twitter blog announcement:
“Once the video has been launched in full screen mode, we’ve made video discovery easier as well.
Just scroll up to start browsing more engaging video content.
If you want to exit the viewer and go back to the original Tweet, click the back arrow in the top left corner.”
User Response to Twitter’s Announcement
The new video feed was immediately and understandably compared to TikTok by Twitter users.
Tiktok on twitter
— ⚡️ Wumpus ⚡️ (@notwumpus) October 5, 2022
ah yes. tiktok.
— abdul 🌌📷 (@Advil) October 5, 2022
Anecdotally, the responses to the announcement appeared to be evenly split between users who appreciated being able to spend time on videos and those who disliked it because it felt like Twitter was changing to become Twitter.
Just saw this when I uploaded a vid. Very cool 🙏
— Youtubable (@Youtubable) October 5, 2022
Unfortunately, Twitter is selling itself to other "fashionable" social networks and losing all its originality. It was my favorite social network, precisely because it differs from the others, now it's becoming more of the same.
— Kássio Frazão (@kassiofrazao) October 5, 2022
Videos on Twitter
Videos have always been a part of the Twitter experience.
But Twitter’s lack of a feature to discover and enjoy videos made discovering videos secondary to the text experience of reading tweets.
The lack of video discovery seemed to be an oversight since videos were available but difficult to discover as a separate form of content medium, other than stumbling upon the interesting ones by random chance.
While comparisons to TikTok are seemingly inevitable, it’s also somewhat inevitable that videos should become easier to discovery and watch on Twitter.
Featured image by Shutterstock/Dean Drobot