Twitter is reportedly developing a camera-first feature to rival Snapchat
- Twitter is creating a camera-focused feature that may change the social platform's emphasis from text to video and images and challenge competitor Snapchat, CNBC reported, citing ad agency executives.
- The new function is said to combine location-based photos and videos with Twitter Moments, which lets users highlight notable events, similar to Snapchat's Our Story feature that collects users' public posts on a topic or from the same location and strings them together in its Discover section. The change would give advertisers another outlet for video spots on mobile platforms, including ad placements between Twitter's new real-time photos and videos or sponsored events.
- It's unclear when the feature could launch, or whether Titter may scrap it entirely, but it's said to be in the early stages of development, per CNBC.
Twitter's main difference from other platforms has been its emphasis on immediacy and on sharing breaking news. A camera-first feature could work well with the existing platform by encouraging users to share photos and videos associated with news and cultural events.
With this feature reportedly in the works, Twitter is ramping up its efforts to boost ad revenue after reporting its first profitable quarter even as user growth has flatlined. That means adding more video and photo content that can be interspersed with purchased brand messages, especially since social networks can earn more money for video ads than they generally can for text and still images. Twitter last year was the sixth biggest company in terms of digital advertising revenue, behind Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Oath and Amazon, per eMarketer.
The social media company's flat user growth means it needs to find additional ways to engage existing users and expand its range of features to appeal to consumers who haven't yet set up a Twitter account. By creating a feature that resembles Snapchat Stories, which has proven to be popular so far with users and advertisers, Twitter would be taking a page out of Facebook's playbook of copying features popularized by Snapchat. As Facebook pledges to prioritize content from users' friends and family, Twitter appears to be jumping at the opportunity to promote its unique ability to reach a mass audience in real time.