It looks like Twitter is planning to give its users a lot more creativity in the photo and video department soon. That’s according to numerous images posted by Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams and others popstars, who appeared to have access to unreleased editing features from Twitter at MTV’s VMA awards show this weekend.
Lara Cohen, who is Twitter’s Director of Entertainment Talent, highlighted the new photos with tweets that implied (and seemingly confirmed) that the stars were roadtesting something new. It isn’t clear if this is a standalone app, or just an extension of the photo/videos features inside Twitter’s mobile apps. Photo functionality is limited to filters and cropping right now and Twitter only added native video capture on mobile this year. Nonetheless, it looks like you might soon be able to add stickers, your own doodles, text and more to photos and short video clips.
(@jinen, which is included in Cohen’s tweet, is the handle belonging to Twitter Product Manager Jinen Kamdar — another hint at something that is, or has been, in development.)
So what is Twitter cooking up?
Here are some of the video clips and photos that Swift and co created:
Twitter removed the metadata which shows which app a tweet is posted from (it was once useful for sleuthing) from most clients, but it remains in tact for TweetDeck. Interestingly though, Swift’s video tweets don’t show up as being from any client in TweetDeck (here’s a screenshot) which you could take to mean it is from a new app. Perhaps… maybe.
Regardless, it looks like Twitter is zoning in on photos and video. We know people like emoji and stickers, and putting those options right into camera could increase engagement and convince users to post photos on Twitter instead of (or in addition to) Instagram, Facebook and other social networking apps. Instagram, in particular, has developed into a juggernault. With 300 million active users, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is already bigger than Twitter. It just began allowing portrait and landscape photos for the first time, but offers nothing quite like stickers or text overlays.
We’ve asked Twitter for more information about what Taylor Swift and the gang were using, and when it will be available for the rest of us mere normals. We’ll let you know what the company says.
Update: A blog post about the U.S. open tennis tournament showed that top tennis players are also playing with the new photo editing options.
Hat tip @AnthonyQuintano