It’s hard to believe more than seven years ago Snapchat unveiled “Stories,” a feature allowing consumers to string together images and videos into a digestible, diary-esque sequence that would disappear after 24 hours. It proved so popular that several other prominent players including Instagram and LinkedIn created their own Stories doppelgängers.
Twitter has been making a name for itself in this space, most recently. Last month Twitter introduced its own take on stories—fleeting tweets called Fleets. Now it’s making it easier to share Tweets inside stories on other platforms.
Incorporating tweets into Instagram or Snapchat
Users can now transform Tweets into Snapchat stickers. You can also customize content using other creative elements, such as captions and filters. Previously, if someone wanted to share a tweet on Snapchat, they’d have to resort to taking a screenshot of it and manually inserting it as an image, without having access to any of Snapchat’s camera or editing features for added flair.
Here’s the full breakdown:
- Tap the share icon on a Tweet (it must be public — not a protected tweet)
- To create the sticker, select the Snapchat icon at bottom of the share menu. If you are already signed into your iOS Camera, this will open directly to your iOS Camera.
- Take your Snap — either photo or video — and customize with captions and Snapchat Creative Tools including your Bitmoji, Cameo and Filters
- Select the blue “Send” button to distribute to individual friends or groups
- Once shared, the Snap will link back to the Tweet thread on Twitter where you can see the whole conversation
Twitter also announced that it will soon launch a small trial of a similar feature that allows iOS users to share tweets through Instagram Stories.
Double the value of virtual experiences and live video
Twitter announced the acquisition by Squad, a video app for virtual hangouts. Per TechCrunch, the startup’s co-founders, CEO Esther Crawford and CTO Ethan Sutin, along with the rest of Squad’s team will now join Twitter’s team across its design, engineering and product departments.
Squad, similar to Houseparty, allows groups to communicate in real time. But the key feature that makes it stand out is screen-sharing. As shown in the above example, chat participants can share their screen to encourage discussion on other platforms and content types, including private messages. This means that the goal is to provide context and facilitate broader discussion around Twitter.
Squad will help Twitter “bring new ways for people to interact, express themselves, and join in the public conversation,” Twitter VP of Product, Ilya Brown, shared in a tweet.
The startup stated earlier this year that its usage had increased 1100% due to lockdowns imposed by the global pandemic. It also garnered $7.2 million in venture capital from First Round, Y Combinator, betaworks, Halogen Ventures, and ex-TechCrunch editor Alexia Bonatsos’s Dream Machine amongst several other investors.
The future of multi-participant Chat
2020 was a great example of how platforms need to innovate and provide new functionality in order to grow app usage. Tools including interactive Q&As, live chats, gaming, and livestreaming are golden tickets to ensuring longevity for their ability to help both creators and brands achieve more personal forms of entertainment and monetize their offerings.
While the future of Fleets may be uncertain, Twitter’s acquisition of Squad feels like a step in the right direction to standing the offering up. Connection to real-time trends and close friends is tablestakes in today’s landscape and perhaps this move will open the floodgate for a revamp of Twitter’s app. A tab that focuses on video clips and discussions via Squad is one example. Its simple, multi-participant chat angle also highlights another important point: consumers want more intimate interactions that are welcome and not forced or disruptive.
Image credit via TechCrunch
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