What you need to know
- Twitter has announced new video products that make the platform look almost identical to TikTok.
- The new immersive media viewer expands a video to full screen when you tap it, allowing you to swipe up for more similar content.
- It also has a new discovery experience that shows a video carousel in the Explore tab.
Twitter isn't backing down from becoming a TikTok wannabe, as it has unveiled new video products that make watching videos more immersive on the platform.
The microblogging platform has introduced a new media viewer that allows you to watch a video in full screen mode by simply tapping on it. If this looks familiar, it's because TikTok popularized full-screen viewing, demonstrating the platform's dominance in the video space.
Twitter's latest move is not quite unexpected: the platform launched a beta test last year for a vertical full-screen feed that allowed users to swipe between different tweets and videos. That interface looked like a stripped-down TikTok, with options to view Trending or personalized For You videos.
The test is now out of beta and will be available to users of Twitter in English on iOS in the coming days. As with TikTok, you can swipe up to view more videos on the same topic as the one you just watched.
Twitter is also adding a dedicated video carousel to the Explore tab. It's called "Videos for you," and it's located directly above trending topics, displaying a row of popular videos recommended by Twitter, much like TikTok.
Users in certain countries can now access the video carousel if they use Twitter in English. It is live for both iOS and Android phones.
"We want to make it easy for everyone to use our service in the way that best fits their needs, and videos (including fun movie teasers) an important part of that," Twitter said in a blog post announcing the new products.
Twitter is not the first social media platform to borrow features from TikTok. In June, Instagram began testing a new full-screen feed in an effort to "make it easier to discover content and connect with friends."
YouTube also recently took a step to lure more creators into its own short-form video format by allowing Shorts creators to join the YouTube Partner Program. This trend only serves to highlight TikTok's growing influence over how we consume video content.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.