Some simple updates put Twitter camera users in the moment

14 Mar 2019

Image: bogdan.hoda/Depositphotos

An update to the Twitter camera function revealed at SXSW mirrors an Instagram staple.

Twitter has announced updates to the Twitter camera intended to make it easier to capture and share photos and videos ‘in the moment’, honouring Twitter’s original ethos as a social platform focused on real-time sharing.

Explaining the company’s motivations, Keith Coleman, VP of consumer product at Twitter, said: “We want to make it easier to capture and share what you’re seeing in front of you with photos and video. We want to help you get what you’re seeing in front of the right audience. This update is an evolution of tweeting towards that goal.”

Future Human

What’s new in the Twitter camera?

The first of the updates offers quicker access to the camera function in the Twitter app. Users no longer need to tap to tweet and access the camera from the tweet editor. Simply swiping left on the app screen will launch the camera mode – a move Instagram users will be familiar with (albeit in the opposite direction).

While this update will be available to all users within the coming days, the next update will roll out gradually.

Starting with major events and sports happening in the US, users with geo-services enabled will find the app will suggest hashtags and location tags for their photos and videos. The idea is to make it easier for these rich media posts to flow into the online conversation streaming from a particular location at a given time.

The update was unveiled by Coleman at SXSW, where these location-based prompts are activated for users trying out the new camera as the event rolls on in Austin, Texas. NBC News, reporting from SXSW, said these updates were a year in the making at Twitter HQ and it is the first major camera update for the app since 2016.

Tweets with content captured from the in-app camera will display these images and videos prominently, highlighting the where and when of what’s captured with changeable coloured markers.

More camera updates have been teased to follow as Twitter undoubtedly continues to align its platform with the expectations set by Instagram, a leading social app for photo and video sharing.

Smartphone user capturing a video. Image: bogdan.hoda/Depositphotos

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic