How your Twitter feed will change in coming months

Amid criticism from investors about the company's declining user growth, the social network announces new features such as easier ways to share video and talk privately.


Twitter will be rolling out some new features as it looks to address declining user growth and placate investors. James Martin/CNET

Get ready for your tried and true Twitter feed to take on a new look.

Twitter is planning new features it intends to roll out in coming months, the company said Wednesday. The changes include easier ways to share video, take public conversations private and ways to avoid missing key tweets while offline.

Just over a year since its initial public offering, Twitter is working to make its platform more attractive to new users and easier for current ones. Both are vital because user growth has declined and investors have begun asking how big the company can really get.

"We think it will be the combination of the changes, and the cumulative effect of these changes, that will bolster growth," said Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

The new features were unveiled, with little detail, at the company's first Analyst Day in San Francisco. But Twitter VP of Product Kevin Weil also highlighted them in a company blog post.

For one, Twitter hopes to make sharing video less of a hassle with an update that makes it easier to record, edit and share videos natively. "Alongside short-looping Vine videos, we think you'll have fun sharing what's happening in your world through native video." Weil wrote. "You can expect to see this in the first half of next year."

Another new feature is in response to complaints about Twitter's personal messaging system, which has trailed behind the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp. Weil said the first of several related updates will become available next week, giving users the ability to share and discuss tweets privately via Twitter's Direct Messages system.

A third change speaks to users who get frustrated by how hard it is to catch up on what you've missed when you've been offline. Twitter is working on a feature that shows relevant tweets to you, even if they were posted when you weren't around. It'll choose those tweets based on who you follow and what you click on while using the site.

Similarly, but more for Twitter newbies, Weil said the company is working on a new timeline for users who don't want to spend time cultivating their own.

Investors seemed to like what they heard. The news sent the stock up about 7.5 percent, to $42.54, in afternoon trading.

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