Twitter is rolling out a major redesign on Wednesday, aiming to encourage users to share more pictures and videos, with its new features mirroring some of the more popular aspects of competitors like Snapchat and Instagram.
The app update’s key difference is that it will make it easier for users to quickly access the camera function. Once the app update hits their phone, users can swipe left from their timeline in order to take pictures. Previously, users had a more circuitous route to adding a picture or video, needing to tap the camera icon after clicking its compose tweet button on the bottom right of its app. Another swipe allows users to record video or live audio.
The easy-access camera isn’t the only change that’s similar to Snapchat. Users can add color, hashtags, location, and up to its standard 280 characters of text on pictures, drawing on some of the staple features of Snapchat and Instagram.
Twitter will also recommend locations for users to tag in their pictures based on events that they’re close to, with Engadget reporting that Twitter will initially place an emphasis on sports games and other big events. Twitter wants the new features, which were unveiled at South-by-Southwest in Austin, Texas, to allow users to better engage with topics and events that they’re interested in or nearby.
“It knows where you are and what’s going on around you,” Keith Coleman, Twitter’s head of product, told NBC. “So if you’re at SXSW, it knows that, and it will suggest you add the SXSW hashtag.”
Additional major changes could also be released. Twitter is experimenting with hiding the number of likes and retweets each tweet gets behind a tap, according to NBC. The outlet had to issue a correction on Wednesday afternoon after initially reporting Twitter was considering completely removing the number of likes and retweets each tweet receives, something that would’ve fundamentally altered the app. The move could be another push towards improving the “health of the conversation” on Twitter, something that chief executive Jack Dorsey and other company execs have stressed in the last year.
NBC has a CORRECTION on its New Twitter story and it’s important pic.twitter.com/6VEHv34XCg
— Gene Park (@GenePark) March 13, 2019