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28 January, 2015

Field test: Twitter native video reports

Overnight I received an update to my Twitter app (USA iTunes store) that allows me to record, edit and post videos directly from inside the Twitter app.

Here are some of my early tests and notes from Berlin.

The first thing I discovered is that the device must be in vertical orientation. Oops! "Take Two"

Oh, and according to the pop-up tool tip you actually CAN delete individual clips which is very cool.

The second thing I noticed is that the app only records video while you hold down the video camera record button.

That's OK, because you can build and file a short video update (up to 30-seconds in length) from a series of clips. And you can switch between front and rear-facing camera to make a more compelling report.

I am using a Cullman selfie stick, an iPhone 6+, Shoulderpod S1 mount, Luxpadd22 face light and Rode Lav mic to try and get the best possible quality for the video capture.

I have to hold the device in vertical orientation and keep one finger held down on the button and this rig makes that a bit difficult  because pro video gear is designed to work best for horizontal filming.

I found that I had to use two hands, which is not a great user experience.

On the plus side, the video that you record and post using the Twitter app will be automatically saved to your camera roll. This is different from Vine.

The 30-second clip length is very useful for field reporting. More useful than Vine's six-second limit. More useful that Instagram's 15-second limit. Also Instagram is a Facebook product now and they don't allow instagram images to appear inline in Twitter feeds.

Just be aware of that 30-second limit. You have to keep one eye on the timecode display or your updates will be cut off . . .
Yep. Video selfies will soon be all the rage on Twitter.

BBC MOJO trainer Marc Blank-Settle notes that sometimes there are sound pops at the start of some clips.

I would suggest to the Twitter developers look at this issue and think about providing a five-frame audio cross-fade buffer to smooth over clip transitions.

A five-frame audio cross-fade is something that broadcasters do when cutting news packages together. That little bit of polish will really improve this app.

One more thing . . .
You can import video clips from your camera roll to share in the new Twitter app and they will retain the aspect ratio you used.

Here's how use the latest twitter video Tweet feature is available in the latest app update.

(Be patient, the developers say it can up to two weeks to reach everyone worldwide.)