Twitter may copy Facebook, make features into apps

Some like to poke fun at Facebook for making several impressions on our devices. We've got Messenger, Instagram, Facebook, Paper (for iPhone users, at least), WhatsApp — it's a lot. At their "Analyst Day" soiree, Twitter is teasing that they may do just the same. Executives at Twitter told analysts they were working on improving their direct messaging service, and were very high "applications that can live outside of Twitter". The microblogging platform may also get a "best of" feature to show you what cool things you might have missed, and will get some interesting video features.

Starting soon, Twitter will go native with video. We'll be able to shoot, edit, and share videos within Twitter apps. Twitter already has a similar feature in Vine, but this is for Twitter. It's unclear if any restrictions will be placed on length.

The new video feature also sounds a lot like Snapchat's new crowdsourced feature for sharing on a broad scale.

A "while you were away" feature is also being teased, which will presumably take the most popular posts you didn't see while you were not visiting Twitter. The goal there is interaction. Trevor O'Brien, Twitter's Director of Product Management, said "If every time you open the app the first thing you see is something great, you're more likely to interact with it."

Direct Messages are also likely to change, as Twitter aims to take public conversations private, as well as give users the ability to share tweets privately via Direct Message and start a discussion.

Twitter execs didn't come right out and say these changes or updates would occur as standalone apps, but that seems to be the aim. Facebook has 500 million Messenger users, but there's one catch: they're all signed into Facebook. Twitter has about 500 million unique visitors monthly, but they don't sign in. They're not engaged.

Twitter wants to change that, and it sounds like they are ready to copy the Facebook formula to do so. There is a plan to grow their user-base to one billion users, but without engagement, what's the point?

Source: Twitter