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Your Twitter Timeline Will Soon Be Filled With Much Longer Videos

Twitter is looking to longer videos to keep users plugged into the service.

Twitter continues to tinker.

The social networking company on Tuesday announced a slew of changes to the way video works on both Twitter itself as well as Vine, the dedicated video-sharing platform that first launched for the iPhone in January 2013. Among the changes are the ability to post directly to Twitter videos up to 140 seconds in length, up from the previous limit of 30 seconds. Twitter isn't restricting this ability to select users or brands; all Twitter users will be able to upload these longer videos starting Tuesday.


As for Vine, the video-sharing platform that's increasingly under pressure from the likes of Facebook and Snapchat, a select group of users (dubbed "creators" by Twitter) will be able to share 140-second-long videos, up from the current six-second limit. All Vine users will be able see these longer videos, of course, but only those select few will be able to upload them, at least initially.

Twitter will also on Tuesday release a dedicated iOS app called Engage that provides "down-to-the-second" analytics on how tweets are performing. This app will be available for all Twitter users to download, but probably will only be worthwhile to users with large followings to see how well (or not) their tweets are connecting with their followers.

As for why all of this is happening, three words: video, video, video.

Social networks are absolutely in love with video, so much so that a Facebook executive said earlier in June that the platform will be "probably all video" within the next five years. Then there's the aforementioned Snapchat, which pioneered vertical video and has large media companies clamoring for a piece of it in order to get access to its large, and growing, audience of young users. Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and CEO, also told investors in April that catering to the platform's creators was one of his priorities for the year.

And more broadly, of course, all of this is being done to be make Twitter more attractive to everyday users so they can just as easily use the service as they do something like Facebook. Twitter's already won over the hardcore users. The job now is convincing your parents that it's worth their while.