Twitter gets graphic with videos in direct messages and a GIF library for all

Twitter is getting serious about turning the direct messages feature into its own chat platform.

gif twitter

Twitter just added two handy new features to its network, and both are about the miracle of the moving image.

The company is currently rolling out the ability to send videos via direct message (DM) in Twitter for mobile, as well as a searchable GIF library to spice up your tweets on most platforms.

Why this matters: The addition of GIF search is a nice bonus, but video capture and sharing is the bigger deal for Twitter. In recent months, the company has added new features to make direct messages work more like a typical messaging platform. The company let users opt to receive direct messages from anyone in April 2015 (the company tried to implement the same thing in 2013). Previously, two accounts had to follow each other before DMs were possible. Then in August, Twitter dropped the 140-character limit from DMs. Now, it’s adding video sharing, bringing DMs closer to the functionality of messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp.

How it all works

Video capture for DMs is currently rolling out for Android and iOS. If you don’t see it yet the new feature should show up on your device in the coming days.

GIF search, meanwhile, is rolling out to Twitter for Android, iOS, and the web. The new feature will likely be a popular option considering users shared more than 100 million GIFs on Twitter in 2015, according to the company. Once you see a GIF button, clicking it lets you choose from a selection of GIFs supplied by Giphy and Riffsy. 

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