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Twitter Adds Group Messaging, Mobile Video

Twitter updated its blog on Tuesday with news that the site has added two new features: group Direct Messaging and the ability to shoot and post video directly from the Twitter mobile app. The new additions follow another new feature that was launched on January 21, which bundles together some of the best tweets that were posted while the Twitter user was away.

According to Twitter product director Jinen Kamdar, users can start a group conversation with followers, but the individuals do not need to follow each other. Up to 20 Twitter users can participate in a group chat, which can be initiated with "just a few clicks." Those added to the private group will receive a notification.

"You might want to continue a public conversation privately with a smaller group, or start one based on a Tweet you saw," Kamdar said. "Many of you use Direct Messages to reach the people and brands you're only connected to on Twitter. Whatever the case may be, the ability to converse privately with groups gives you more options for how and with whom you communicate on Twitter."

In addition to the Group Messaging, Kamdar also revealed that Twitter users will soon be able to capture, edit and share videos by using the Twitter mobile apps. This feature is interesting, given that Twitter bought video sharing start-up Vine back in October 2012, which allows users to create small 6-second clips of video and post them online. Videos captured with Twitter's apps will span up to 30 seconds in length.

Twitter's standalone Vine service was the only way to get video clips posted on Twitter. However, by embedding the camera controls within the Twitter apps, users no longer have to jump into another app to shoot, edit and post video. Kamdar said that video capturing and editing can be accomplished by using just a few taps. Further, iOS customers can yank images from their camera roll and post them on the social website.

"We're rolling these features out to all users in the coming weeks," Kamdar said. "Starting now, you'll be able to participate in group conversations other people start with you, and watch any of the public videos users post."

Will adding camera controls to the Twitter apps change the way users upload video? Kamdar seemed to think that Twitter will see "rich and engaging content" every day. That's probably a given, as heavy-duty Twitter users will likely jump on the video bandwagon immediately.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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