Twitter has rolled out several changes to its mobile apps over the past few months, all with varying degrees of usefulness. Automatic captions for videos arrived in December, an updated Explore tab entered testing the same month, and the mobile app stopped loading AMP pages in November (thank goodness). Now another feature is in the testing stage that is popular on video-focused social media: reaction videos.
The official support account for Twitter posted on Thursday, “tweet reaction videos can now start on Twitter! […] When you tap the Retweet icon, choose “Quote Tweet with reaction” to create and customize your very own Tweet Take — a reaction video (or photo) with the Tweet embedded.” The functionality is more or less identical to how Instagram, TikTok, and other social media apps already allow embedding posts in videos and images.
This might be another step towards Twitter cloning some of TikTok’s most-used features, since TikTok’s popularity continues to soar — CloudFlare said that TikTok surpassed Google as the most popular web domain in 2021. Embedded comments and posts are fairly common on TikTok, and similar features have existed on other apps (including Meta-owned Instagram) for years. The recent Explore tab experiment turned tweets into full-screen displays with media stretched to fill the screen, similar to the main feed in TikTok.
The tweet didn’t mention when Twitter will start testing the functionality on Android, but it’s also possible the feature might be phased out later instead of receiving a wider rollout. Reaction videos aren’t too common on Twitter, where most people prefer to use threads of tweets (or linking to a TwitLonger, Medium, or other form of blogging). It’s not too surprising that Twitter is at least trying the idea, though — the more popular TikTok becomes, the more people start looking for its features on other social media platforms.
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