Two new features now launching on Twitter: capture life as it happens with video and speak privately with a group: https://t.co/sdcnCW9t16
— Twitter (@twitter) January 27, 2015
Two new Twitter features were rolled out today: group Direct Messaging and in-app video capture/upload.
While many are thankful for the group messaging feature, it is the in-app video feature that I think is the win here. A win for sports journalists and their brethren.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR SPORTS
One of the biggest keys to Twitter’ growth has been its adoption by journalists. Sports journalists, especially. I’ve written on this before how I believe the secret to Twitter’s success has been because of sports. Live-tweeting of sporting events, press conferences or breaking news in a 140-character space has enabled Twitter to become a must-have news source in sports.
With a 30-second native Twitter video, with ability to record and upload, the game has been changed in sports reporting. An ESPN reporter can record an in-game update with a tweet. A CBS Sports sideline reporter can do an additional report during commercial break of a college hoops game…with a simple tweet. No need to wait until the network is on air. The possibilities are endless.
But, just like the limit on characters in tweets, it will force said reporters to condense their words to fit within 30-seconds.
The 140-character limit in a tweet has forced many to refine their writing skills. Make it quick, to-the-point and tweet it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to re-type a tweet because it didn’t fit within 140 – that dreaded red color pops up in the numbers
That 140 limit makes you get to the point.
Same with video.
Is there a down-side? Yes.
Just as has been the case with typed tweets in that errors have been made or outlandish rumors become “fact”, the same goes for video. Anybody can create a report, especially during a live-event. Non-sports live events will truly see a rise in citizen journalism. There are positives and negatives to that idea. A tragic event with citizen journalists reporting? The potential for misinformation is great. But,
The flip-side to that is reputable reporters can use the video to report breaking news with their own voice. How many times have respected media been fooled by a tweet from a fake account? A big trade in the NBA or NFL? Yeah, with video, reputable reporters can take care of that problem easily. Think no more adarnschefter tweets.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Love this idea from Twitter. Keeping in mind the broadcasting rights during games (which is key), I love the idea of being able to provide an in-game update beyond 6 or 15 seconds. Hard to give the game details or an injury update in that short of time.
Another benefit I see is for young sports journalists. Breaking into sports media is a challenge. Working within a sports department or interning is great, but what if a student isn’t able to or not at that level yet? This new video option allows them to do their own updates. They can practice giving updates from a live-event – which doesn’t have to be from one of the major sports. It enables them to rehearse a 30-second update like you hear on tv or radio. For young sports journalists, this update can be empowering.
I’m not so sure about the group DMs for one point only: the beauty of Twitter for fans is access to sports journalists, getting that behind-the-curtain interaction with them directly or seeing the conversations between them. In the early days of Twitter, I felt empowered to know what media were discussing with each other on a topic. Now, with this DM feature, if sports journalists want to talk with each other privately between three or more of them, they can do that. It might seem like a minute detail to some, but it’s about information and access for fans.
Would love to know your thoughts. Let me know in the comments below.