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Twitter Begins iOS Rollout of Location-Based Tweet Aggregating Feature

Twitter has confirmed to TechCrunch that all of its first party iOS app users will today begin to see a new location-based feature that aggregates tweets tagged to a specific geographic location. Called "Twitter Location Feeds," the update lets users scroll through tweets and profiles surrounding locations like the headquarters of a business, sporting event, music festival, or an entire city. Powered by Foursquare, users can jump into any Location Feed they want by first tapping on a tweet to check out more details, then tapping on the location tagged within to see a list of tweets compiled within the area. Once in the feed for any specific location, users can scroll through all tweets posted by users in the area, or specify a media-only category to stick with photos and videos. Location feeds will unlock the ability for users anywhere to immerse themselves in a place. You could drop into a sporting event, see what people think about a museum, find the favorite dish from a restaurant, check the vibe at a local park, virtually visit a concert, or even become engulfed in a protest. Instead of browsing a noisy hashtag with tweets from everywhere, you can discover what people on the ground are saying. This ability to immerse yourself in an unfiltered sea of information has always been one of the best parts of Twitter. Due to its focus on navigation starting from tags in other users' tweets, a lot of the functionality of Location Feeds rides on automatic location tagging, which many users might have turned off. As such, TechCrunch considers that an update with

Twitter Extends Video Limit From 30 to 140 Seconds, Launches New Analytics App

Twitter today announced that video lengths on the social networking site will be expanded from 30 seconds to 140 seconds long, with select publishers still granted exemption from the limit with the ability to post up to 10 minute long videos. The company called video "increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter," and noted that video-related Tweets had increased over 50 percent since 2016 began. Now, everyone can post videos up to 140 seconds long! We can’t wait to see the amazing videos you create and share.https://t.co/DFsuvnXkuL— Twitter Video (@video) June 21, 2016 To help facilitate more video views from its users, Twitter will be updating its iOS and Android apps with a new "full-screen viewing experience" that pops up whenever you tap on any tweeted video on your timeline. Everyone will be able to take advantage of the new 140-second videos beginning today, but the app update is said to be "rolling out soon." The company is also launching a separate, all-new app focused on analytics. Called "Twitter Engage," users will be able to better understand and decipher the performance of their tweets with "real-time data and insights." The app, which is specifically targeted at "influential creators" but available to anyone who's interested, lets users track tweet activity, get notifications from the most important followers, and provide a breakdown of the highest and lowest performing tweets posted to an account. Similar lengthy video updates are also coming to the Twitter-owned Vine app, where a select handful of creators will be

Twitter Rolls Out 'Go Live' Periscope Button to Small Group of iOS Users

Twitter recently began rolling out a new live-streaming Periscope button into its iOS app, letting users initiate a real-time broadcast from Twitter's first party app without having to jump into the company's year-old live-streaming video service Periscope. If a user doesn't have Periscope downloaded, the app will nudge them towards its location on the App Store. The new "Go Live" button can be found when composing a Tweet, sitting to the right of the Photo and Video media options. The company began testing the feature on Android back in May, but confirmed to BuzzFeed yesterday that a "small group" of iOS users would begin to see the button this week. Of course, the long-term plan and launch window were kept secret. Image via BuzzFeed A rep for Twitter told BuzzFeed News, “a few weeks ago we rolled out a ‘Go Live’ button in Twitter to a small percentage of Android users. We’re beginning to roll this out to a small group of iOS users. Over time, everyone will have the ability to start a Periscope broadcast from Twitter.” Periscope launched in March of 2015, on the heels of similar live-stream service Meerkat. Since then, Facebook has shifted a lot of its focus into the live video space, updating its mainline app with a live video-heavy "Discovery" tab and discussing its plans for the future during the company's F8 Developer Conference in April. A rumored standalone camera and live video app is said to be in the works at Facebook, as well. Twitter [Direct Link] and Periscope [Direct Link] can be downloaded on the App Store for

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Comments on Snapchat's Rise in Popularity Amid Twitter's Stagnation

While at Re/code's Code Conference this week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey commented on a few aspects of the social network's failings in recent years, especially in comparison to the dramatic upswing in popularity other apps, like Snapchat, have seen. Dorsey mentioned that he believes Snapchat's method of messaging -- which incorporates transient text messages and time-locked photos and videos -- is "very modern," and that at times even he thinks Twitter can be somewhat confusing and alienating to its install base. His train of thought has been represented in user numbers, recently reported by Bloomberg, that suggest Snapchat has 150 million active users every day, while Twitter has fewer than 140 million. That's an impressive boost to Snapchat, which had just 110 million daily users back in December of 2015. Twitter has 310 million monthly active users, according to its most recent earnings report. The company doesn’t disclose how many of those people check in daily, but in the third quarter, it said about 44 percent of monthly users are active each day in the service’s top 20 markets. Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said at the time that the percentage had been stable but that “we’ll be sure to disclose” if there was a significant change. The company hasn’t given an update since then. This implies a daily active user count of 136 million. Of course, the company is constantly moving forward with innovations and changes to its user ruleset, recently announcing plans to drop handles and media attachments from its steadfast 140-character limit. A move to

Twitter for iOS Gains Support for Peek and Pop 3D Touch Gestures

The official Twitter app for iOS was today updated to version 6.54, quietly adding expanded 3D Touch support. As noticed by MacStories, the update enables Peek and Pop gestures within the Twitter app itself, allowing Twitter users with an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus to preview content through a "Peek" and then quickly open it up with a "Pop." Peek and Pop gestures are available for previewing tweets, pictures, links, and user profiles, and with a swipe up on a Peek gesture, there are quick tools for sharing, reporting, muting, and blocking. Twitter previously featured 3D Touch support, but it was limited to Home screen Quick Actions, allowing users to do things like search, create a new tweet, or send a direct message. Twitter can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter to Drop Handles and Media Attachments From 140-Character Limit

Twitter announced today that it will be making a number of expected changes to simplify tweets over the coming months. First and foremost, when replying to a tweet, Twitter handles such as @MacRumors will no longer count toward the 140-character limit. Media attachments, like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, and Quote Tweets, will also no longer be counted. The changes should provide Twitter users, including brands and websites, with more characters for actual text and article headlines. Meanwhile, new non-reply tweets that begin with a username will now reach all of a user's followers, eliminating the need to use the ".@" convention to broadcast a tweet widely. Last, Twitter users will be able to Retweet and Quote Tweet their own tweets. Twitter expects the changes to have a significant impact on tweets, so the microblogging service aims to provide its developer partners with time to make any needed updates to products built using the Twitter API.

Tweetbot for Mac Updated With 'Topics' Feature for Linking Multiple Related Tweets

Earlier this month, Tweetbot for iOS was updated with a new "Topics" feature designed to link multiple related tweets together in a cohesive way, and now the Tweetbot app for Mac has been updated with the same feature. Topics are built around the Twitter feature that links conversations. Tweets composed as a topic in Tweetbot are linked together via Twitter's conversation threading mechanism and use the same hashtag, so "Tweetstorms" or tweets surrounding a single topic connected. Linking multiple tweets together is often desirable in situations where a single tweet doesn't suffice, such as a lengthy rant or live event coverage.This release introduces Topics. A Topic is a way to let you quickly Tweet a group of related Tweets without having to manually reply to yourself and/or manually add the same hashtags over and over again. They are really great for rapid fire live Tweeting events. You can access Topics by tapping the gear menu in the New Tweet screen. They are also stored in and require iCloud, so you can start a topic on your iPhone and easily continue it on your iPad and Mac.Today's Tweetbot update also includes support for Collections, a way to save tweets linked together as a topic, and there are a number of feature improvements and bug fixes.- Collections Support - Improved Quote Preview in Compose Window - Removed play/pause button from video playback. Clicking on the video will toggle play/pause. - Fixed an issue where incoming DM's would play a sound even when notification center was set to 'Do not Disturb'. - If you mute someone you don't

Twitter Plans to Stop Counting Links and Photos in 140-Character Limit

Twitter has plans to stop counting photos and links within the 140-character limit allowed for each tweet, reports Bloomberg. Removing photos and links from tweets will allow tweets with media to contain more text. At the current time, photos take up 24 characters and links take up 23 characters, eliminating 47 available characters when both are included in a tweet. Twitter is reportedly introducing the change to give Twitter users "more flexibility" after exploring methods that would allow users to include more text in tweets. Twitter has made efforts to give users additional characters to work with in the past, implementing tweet quoting features, using link shorteners, and removing character limits from Direct Messages. Twitter has included a 140-character restriction since it launched in 2006, put in place to stay within the limits of the standard 160-character length of SMS messages with 20 characters left as space for a username. Reports in January suggested Twitter was considering eliminating the 140-character limit and allowing tweets to contain up to 10,000 characters as part of a project it called "Beyond 140," but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later said the character limit would not be changed. Twitter is expected to implement the change in the next two

Twitter for Mac Gains Support for Moments and Polls

Twitter today updated its dedicated Mac app with support for several Twitter features that have previously been available to Twitter users on iOS and the web, including Moments and Polls. Introduced in October, Moments is a new Twitter tab that's designed to help users discover popular news stories, events, and trending topics, aggregating interesting content into categories like News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun. The ability to create custom polls embedded within Tweets was also added in a separate October update, allowing Twitter users to query their followers through multiple choice 24-hour polls. Along with support for Moments and Polls, Twitter for Mac users can now share GIFs in tweets and Direct Messages through a new GIF search feature.What's New - Find the best of Twitter in an instant with Moments. Follow top stories through immersive pics, clips, and conversations. Get insights and perspectives you won't find anywhere else. - Create polls on Twitter and with just a couple of taps, people can weigh in on all the topics they care about. - Sharing GIFs in Tweets and Direct Messages is even easier with our new GIF search.Today's Twitter for Mac update comes five months after a major app overhaul that was introduced in December. The Twitter for Mac 4.0 update introduced a slew of features like inline video playback, group direct messages, mute, a dark theme, and Notification Center widget. Twitter for Mac can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Launches 'Connect Tab' on iOS and Android to Curate Recommended Accounts

Twitter today announced a new feature for its iOS and Android applications that will connect people to Twitter users around the world who share similar interests. Using the new "Connect tab," users will be able to browse a list of people and accounts that the social network believes you will be interested in, all without having to manually search topics and hashtags yourself. Finding new accounts to follow used to require jumping through a few hoops and a dash of luck. That’s why we’ve reimagined the experience with our new Connect tab. Starting today, you’ll see a detailed list of people and accounts we think you’ll enjoy following, all easily accessible in one place. To curate the best selections in the Connect tab, the company said it uses the people you already follow, liked tweets, popular local Twitter accounts, and current world and entertainment events. It also assured users that it will "let you know exactly why we’re showing you each recommendation," to avoid any confusion. Beyond random accounts, the Connect tab will serve as an easier way to find friends and family members with the option to sync a smartphone's address book to find pre-existing Twitter users, and give you a heads up if a contact in the address book joins Twitter. The company said the new Connect tab is rolling out to everyone using Twitter for iOS and Android beginning today, but didn't mention the possible addition of the new feature to its desktop site. Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link

Twitter Moves to 'News' Category in App Store to Boost Visibility

Twitter yesterday changed how its iOS mobile app is categorized on the App Store in order to enhance its visibility, following the company's poor Q1 earnings report earlier this week (via TechCrunch). Twitter now appears in the "News" category, where it's the #1 ranked app ahead of CNN and Reddit. Previously it could be found in "Social Networking", where it occupied #5 in the category rankings, behind the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Achieving a #1 ranking in the App Store should also give Twitter's "Overall" ranking a boost, which equates to better visibility in the top "Free" apps chart, where Twitter currently sits at #28. The company has not commented on the thematic switch, which has yet to be reflected in the Google Play store (where it still sits in the "Social" category), but the change indicates that Twitter is looking to court a new audience interested in sources of breaking news and curated information on current affairs, as it seeks a strategy that will heighten its online profile and significantly boost growth. Twitter's Q1 earnings earlier this week showed poor performance, with $595 million company revenues falling short of the $607.8 million analysts expected. The platform had zero growth in new users in Q4 of 2015, but a new tallying system enabled the company to report a 2 percent increase in active users in Q1 (310 million, up from 305 million users in Q4). The company remains unprofitable, with a Q1 net loss of -$79.7 million, and gave bleak guidance for the quarter ahead. Twitter has attempted to improve its

Twitter for iOS Gains Message Button to Make it Easier to Share Tweets Privately

Twitter today announced the addition of a new "Message" button to the Twitter apps for iOS and Android, giving users a simpler method for sharing tweets through Direct Messages to start private conversations. Sending a tweet to a user through a Direct Message is a feature that was originally implemented in 2014, but using the feature required long pressing on a tweet in the timeline and choosing the correct option, a method that wasn't intuitive, especially to new users. Today's change will add a Message button directly adjacent to the standard Reply, Retweet, and Like buttons, making it more accessible.Every day, millions of people send Direct Messages to communicate privately with friends, family, experts, brands, and anyone else they find interesting on Twitter. In fact, we've seen the number of messages sent grow over 60% in 2015. And the number of Tweets shared privately has grown even faster, at 200% in just the second half of last year. With all this interest, we've also heard from many of you that it could be easier to share a Tweet using Direct Message. So now -- in just a few taps -- you can share unique Twitter content from your timeline right into your private conversation.Twitter plans to make the Message button available through an update that will be released later today. The Twitter app for iOS can be downloaded through the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Support Has Responded to Nearly 100 Tweets Per Hour So Far

Apple's new support account on Twitter has quickly gained momentum after launching on Thursday morning, surpassing 125,000 followers in just over 24 hours. The account has over 2,750 tweets as of writing, meaning that Apple's support team has responded to nearly 100 customer tweets per hour so far. Keyhole, a real-time social media analytics website, provides a closer look at the Apple Support account. The data shows that the account, and related tweets, have already generated over 124 million impressions, with 44.6% of users viewing the tweets from an iPhone. 77% of the account's followers are male. Apple joins a growing number of companies, ranging from retailers to banks, that provide customer service on Twitter in 140 characters or less. A customer can send a tweet to @AppleSupport, and an Apple Advisor will typically reply with a generic message that requests the user send more details via Direct Message. We’re always looking for new ways to help you get the most from  products. Meet @AppleSupport! https://t.co/YhdvY44PPS— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 3, 2016 The account will respond to customer inquiries every day between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific, and it will also share tips, tricks, and tutorials related to Apple products and services. Apple support continues to be available on the web, or by phone, email, or scheduling a Genius Bar

Apple Launches Support Account on Twitter With Tips, Tricks, and Customer Service

Apple today created an official Twitter support account to provide customers with tips, tricks, and customer service regarding the company's product and services. One of the account's first tweets shares step-by-step instructions on how to turn lists into checklists in the stock Notes app on iPhone. Many large companies provide customer service on Twitter in 140 characters or less, and it appears that Apple will directly respond to customer tweets as well. The account is currently set to accept Direct Messages, although Apple may choose to disable that option akin to some of its other Twitter accounts. Apple continues to lack an official company presence on the popular microblogging service, although it does have some Twitter accounts for specific products and services like the App Store, Apple Music, iTunes, and Beats 1. Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and many other executives also have personal accounts. The Notes app has some awesome hidden tricks. A favorite of ours: how to turn lists into checklists. #AppleSupport pic.twitter.com/6fdzsRT1i4— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) March 3, 2016 @ItsZijZ We're here to help! Can you please send us a DM with the details of your issue? Thanks.— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) March 3, 2016 Follow the account on Twitter at @AppleSupport. You can also follow MacRumors at @MacRumors.

Facebook and Twitter Announce Support for Apple in Backdoor Dispute With FBI

Both Facebook and Twitter today joined the ranks of a growing number of tech companies announcing support for Apple's decision to oppose a government order that would require it to weaken the security of its iOS devices. The FBI is demanding Apple create a version of iOS that would let it crack the passcode on the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, something Apple has called a "dangerous precedent." In a tweet shared this afternoon, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey thanked Tim Cook for his leadership and said the company stands with Apple. In the tweet, Dorsey also links to Cook's strongly worded open letter that calls the FBI's software request "too dangerous to create." We stand with @tim_cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)! https://t.co/XrnGC9seZ4— Jack (@jack) February 18, 2016 Facebook announced its support through a statement shared with USA Today, which says the company will "fight aggressively" against government requirements to weaken security. Facebook says the FBI's demands "would create a chilling precedent.""We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe," the statement reads. "When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct

Apple Fixes Broken Twitter Links in Safari in Third Beta of OS X 10.11.4

Apple has fixed an issue that prevented shortened "t.co" links on Twitter from loading in Safari on the third beta version of OS X 10.11.4, seeded to developers for testing on Monday, according to developer Dieter Komendera. The bug affected many users in the MacRumors and Apple Support Communities forums. Apple just sent back my radar about https://t.co/JewBctgsV7 urls not working in Safari, saying it’s fixed in latest 10.11.4 beta. #finally— Dieter Komendera (@kommen) February 10, 2016 Since November, Twitter users who click shortened "t.co" links with the secured HTTPS protocol have encountered a bug that prevents content from loading. Oftentimes, when a "t.co" link is clicked, it opens up a blank web page and hangs at a loading screen for several minutes before giving an error message. Safari users have used temporary solutions, including reloading the "t.co" link several times, removing "https" from the URL, clearing Safari's cache, or switching to a different browser, but until now there was no official fix yet for the link loading issue. Chrome and Firefox are not affected, nor are links that do not use HTTPS. Last month, WebKit Developer Experience Manager Timothy Hatcher tweeted that the problem was lower level than WebKit, Safari's underlying rendering engine, and that Apple had a fix identified. OS X 10.11.4 should be released to the public by no later than the end of March, depending on how many beta versions are

Twitter Experimenting With Dedicated GIF Button for Mobile Apps [Updated]

A few Twitter users on the social network's Android app have begun to notice a dedicated GIF button within the Tweet composition box of the mobile client. Speaking with TechCrunch, Twitter user Phil Pearlman said that the new button lets users browse through current popular GIFs in a trending tab, or select a mood they're feeling to see resulting GIFs based on that emotion. So far the GIF button appears to only be showing up on Android, but if Twitter is planning a wide rollout, it should presumably come to iOS as well. If people aren't seeing it yet twttr is testing way cool gif feature. cc @bluechoochoo pic.twitter.com/LuTsVeUiSs— Phil Pearlman (@ppearlman) February 4, 2016 Pearlman wasn't the only Twitter user to see the GIF button appear within the Android app, with quite a few people mentioning it over the past day. It's also been disappearing for just as many who got to briefly test the feature out, with a couple users -- including Pearlman -- noticing the button suddenly disappearing from the app. Besides a playful GIF of its own, Twitter didn't respond to comment on the possible large-scale rollout of a GIF button feature for the service's mobile app. Given that many users already go through the laborious process of searching for GIFs online and inserting them into tweets through the Media option, it makes sense for the company to begin streamlining that process. Update 2/17: Twitter has confirmed that "GIF Search" is officially coming to iOS, Android, and Twitter.com users "over the coming

Twitter Close to Hiring Former Apple PR Director Natalie Kerris

Apple's longtime public relations executive Natalie Kerris, who retired last April after 14 years at the company, is the leading candidate for Twitter's head of communications, according to Re/code. Kerris initially sought to succeed longtime Apple PR head Katie Cotton, who retired in 2014, but fellow Apple PR veteran Steve Dowling was named as Cotton's permanent successor last April. Kerris previously said that her decision to retire and "enjoy life" came after spending two weeks with her family in Italy, but it appears she may put those plans on hold in joining Twitter.Instead, she has recently spent a lot of time talking to top Twitter execs and is the leading candidate for the job. If hired, Kerris will report to general counsel Vijaya Gadde and not, interestingly, to newly named CMO Leslie Berland. Gadde conducted the search, which has been taking place for months.Kerris was Senior Director of Worldwide Corporate Communications at Apple, where she served in public relations and communications roles since 2001. Kerris worked closely with the late Steve Jobs and oversaw the launch of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and, more recently, Apple Pay and Apple Watch. Kerris would replace Gabriel Stricker, who left Twitter to lead Google Fiber

Apple Planning Fix for Broken Twitter Links in Safari on OS X

For the past couple of months, Twitter users who click shortened "t.co" links with an HTTPS URL have noticed a frequent, irritating bug that prevents content from loading. Oftentimes, when a "t.co" link is clicked, it opens up a blank web page and hangs at a loading screen for several minutes before giving an error message. There are threads about this issue on the MacRumors forums and the Apple Support Communities, with most people complaining that the problem started around the beginning of November. Aside from reloading the t.co URL several times, removing the "https" from the URL, or switching to a different browser, there's no way to fix the link loading issue. Clearing Safari's cached files also helps, but only temporarily. Chrome and Firefox aren't affected, nor are links that do not use HTTPS. In a recent post on the issue, The Verge uncovered a January 14 tweet from Timothy Hatcher, a WebKit Developer Experience Manager at Apple. Hatcher says the problem is lower level than WebKit (Safari is built on WebKit) and that Apple has a fix identified. Hatcher did not specify when the fix might be implemented, and it is unclear if it could come in a standalone Safari update or if a full OS X update will be

Twitter Considers Boosting Tweet Length Limits as High as 10,000 Characters

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night hinted at an incoming change to the 140-character limit for which the social network has been known over the past decade. Dorsey mentioned that the limit has "become a beautiful constraint" over the years, but the company is aware of certain workarounds its fans are going through to break away from the rule. He points towards a possibility in the near future for the site to support full-bodied text tweets that are searchable and can be highlighted by users without a strict 140-character restriction. Back in August, Twitter removed the same limit from its private messaging system, and a month later new rumors about the possibility for the same move for traditional tweets began circling. "At its core Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly. We've spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it. Instead, what if that text...was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That's more utility and power. What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature. We will always work to to strengthen that. And by focusing on conversation and messaging, the majority of tweets will always be short and sweet and conversational!" According to people familiar with Twitter's plans, speaking with Re/code, the project is referred to as "Beyond 140" and has a tentative launch window around the end of Q1 2016. Numbers that have been considered