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Twitter is testing a new cam feature that pretty much looks like everyone else’s

Does everyone have to emulate Snapchat ffs

twitter news camera
Image: TechCrunch

In unsurprising news, Twitter has been secretly working on a Snapchat-style camera feature that lets you overlay captions on photos, videos, and Live broadcasts before sharing them. With everyone and their dog in the social media game adding Stories-style camera apps, it was only a matter of time before Twitter joined the party with a similar camera feature.

Twitter’s current code describes it as the “News Camera,” this is obviously aimed at turning more users into Citizen Journalists. Whether that designation is a good thing or a bad one, only time will tell, but with Twitter’s issues with moderating anything at all on its platform – I can see this as just being another tool that gets abused by bots/hackers and misinformation merchants.

Still, maybe we’ll be lucky and it’ll just get used for selfies, food pics, and amusing short-form skits.

How the new Twitter camera works

First spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra last week, he’s since put together a short video of how the feature works.

Interestingly, News Camera images appear to be full-height in the timeline, not cropped like every other piece of media uploaded to Twitter. The new camera is accessed by swiping left from the timeline, which brings up the new unified capture screen. Once you’ve shot some content, overlays pop up with prompts for adding a location and a caption to “describe what’s happening.”

This is the first time that Twitter has let users put words over images natively, prior to this you’d have to use a tool like Canva or Photoshop to add captions or other information to the content you upload.

Serial code-delver Jane Manchun Wong also took a look around the code for the new feature, which shows that content created by the News Camera will be called “Moments.” It’s not clear how that meshes with Twitter’s existing Moments page, whether the new content would be integrated into it or replace the existing Moments streams altogether.

It feels to me like Twitter will integrate it, using the News Camera tags to better organize the Moments streams, rather than the sometimes-haphazard way it does currently. That might make the Moments tab worth reading in the future as an alternative, as-its-happening news outlet.

Twitter has confirmed the feature to TechCrunch, going on to clarify that the feature is “mid-development” so the feature might not look anything like this when it’s finally rolled out to users. In our ever-increasingly-visual social media lives, this move to add more non-text-based features should be a step in the right direction for Twitter.

What do you think? Would you use this new camera feature on Twitter? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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