Twitter’s Updated Camera Tool Makes It Easier to Quickly Capture Videos and Photos

It debuted at SXSW

The company wants to make it as easy to follow events as it is to follow people on Twitter. Twitter
Headshot of Marty Swant

Twitter has updated its camera feature in its mobile app to make it easier to post more visually focused content.

The updates, available today, give users faster access to posting photos, two-minute videos and live footage—something that feels like a combination of using both Twitter’s own Periscope technology and something familiar to Snapchat users.

Twitter is using South by Southwest—the very same conference where, more than a decade ago, the social network debuted—to illustrate how people can post content from events. During a preview of the feature at a space the festival built for Twitter, the company gave Adweek and a few other reporters early access to try out the new feature.

During a demo, Keith Coleman, Twitter’s vp of product, said the company wanted to make it as easy to follow events as it is to follow people on Twitter.

“We’re trying to make it really simple to go from capturing what’s happening to getting it to the audience that really matters for whatever you’re capturing, to getting it to the people who want to talk about it,” Coleman said.

The feature can be opened by swiping left within the app, which then automatically opens to a full-screen camera function. After taking a photo or video, Twitter then lets users add a small caption over the top of the video while also changing the colors of the caption box. If geo-targeting is on, it will automatically suggest locations to add along with any related hashtags.

You can post up to 240 characters on the in-photo caption, which disappears and feels more like a chyron similar to what’s used on television networks. And while the company is trying to become more visually-focused, adding text on top of a video ends up looking a little more cluttered than on other apps. However, tapping on an image removes the text to give the viewer a full-screen vertical display.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.