Twitter, Vine expand video to 140 seconds

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A little bird told us video is getting longer.

If you can't say something in 140 characters, maybe 140 seconds will do. That's how long Twitter and Vine are expanding the video length to for most users on the platforms.

For Twitter, the change will expand the duration of its existing native video feature, introduced last year, from 30 seconds. Some accounts have already been given the privilege of expanding well beyond the limits, hosting up to 10 full minutes of footage. 

The change in length to 140 seconds—a play on the site's 140 character limit for text—is the site's way of slowly catching the rest of its users up to speed.

Twitter isn't the only service giving additional time to video; the Twitter-owned, short-form video sharing service Vine is also bumping up its hard cap of six seconds for video to a full 140 seconds.

Unlike Twitter, where the expansion of video just means longer footage can be uploaded, Vine's expansion represents a dramatic change to its very specific format. Vines are often fast-paced, with quick cuts that help pack a brief video vignette into the time allotted. 

The new, longer video—which Vine refers to as a "movie" in a Medium post announcing the change—will act as a feature film, while the six second clip that the platform was built upon will be treated as a trailer. A spokesperson for Vine confirmed to the Daily Dot that a "trailer" Vine can consist of any footage, it doesn't have to be a continuous six second chunk from within the full length movie.

When users come across a Vine with extended footage, the initial experience will essentially be the same; the Vine will play per usual, but a "watch more" option will appear on the lower right corner of screen. 

Clicking or tapping the prompt will expand the player into full-screen mode, where a viewer be able to watch the full movie. Either vertical or horizontal footage can be used for the feature and can be watched in widescreen by rotating the device the video is playing on.

Viewers will also be able to mark their favorite parts of the video by double-tapping on the screen. Doing so will send hearts flying and indicate a reaction to a given part of the footage. The feature is one part Periscope, where users can express their admiration with hearts to broadcasters, and one part SoundCloud, where users can mark specific parts of a song.

Unlike Twitter video, which is available to anyone, Vine's expanded feature is a beta run and available only to select creators. Some Vine users will also be able to lengthen their films to 10 minutes, a spokesperson for Vine told the Daily Dot. Those who want to get in on the feature as it is slowly expanded can contact Vine and express their interest.

To make the most of the new video features of its products, Twitter is also introducing a new viewing experience; tapping a video on Twitter will expand it to full screen, where suggested videos are populated below it to keep you watching once the footage ends.


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