Twitter rolls out Snapchat-like camera feature, experimental app

Twitter is experimenting with a Snapchat-like camera feature to enable users to post videos or photos in a swipe as a marketing gimmick for more people to join the social media platform.

The feature has been a work in progress since 2018, with the company working with a demo version that same year. It allows users to easily access Twitter’s existing camera, encouraging them to show nearby events in real time, be it breaking news, a sporting game, a festival or a social post. Currently, the process of sharing photos and videos is a bit cumbersome but the experimental camera feature simplifies the process as it is designed to make it easier to capture what you see happening.

Twitter, which is more calculative and loves to introduce new products at its own pace rather than when certain social media platforms do so, has been accused of being slow to change its product and being scared of alienating its hardcore users. But recently, there has been an increase in the pace of new product introductions.

This March, the company has already opened access to its prototype app, called twttr, which the company is using to test new ideas and get feedback. This is the first time Twitter has provided early explorations of product features to the public and to gain access to the application, users must apply.

The aim of this prototype app is to change the look and feel of Twitter, making it feel more like a chat service with fluid conversations. In this app, the replies to tweets have a rounded shape and indentations to organise and make it easier to follow conversations but it also hides engagement metrics on replies for likes and retweets behind a tap.

According to Twitter’s vice president of product, Keith Coleman “the new camera feature is designed to make it easier to capture what you see happening, and get it to the people who want to see and talk about it.” Meanwhile, Twitter noted that “The app will continue to evolve, and the features tested may never be developed.”