By now, TikTok must be used to its features being blatantly ripped off by other social media platforms. The latest offender is Twitter, which has boldly lifted TikTok’s reaction videos.
When TikTok enabled users to comment on a post by recording a video of their own, it made sense because it was a video-sharing platform. Instagram quickly paid homage by aping the feature in its own app, which still made sense because it is also built around sharing videos and photos.
However, it is remarkable when Twitter decides to include reaction videos on its own platform because it is a micro-blogging site. The company has announced it is testing the feature, which it has named “quote tweet with reaction.”
“Tweet reaction videos can now start on Twitter! Testing on iOS: when you tap the Retweet icon, choose “Quote Tweet with reaction” to create and customize your very own Tweet Take –– a reaction video (or photo) with the Tweet embedded.”
The new feature allows you to include a photo or video in a quote reply to a tweet instead of the usual text.
Only select users on iOS can access the feature for now as it is currently under testing. To access it, the retweet menu will show you an extra “Quote Tweet with reaction” button. Tap on it to go to where you get the option to take a photo, record a video, or choose an image or video from your device.
Twitter has been on a spree adding new ways to share a tweet, including embedding the tweet in a message or story on Snapchat.
There have, however, been concerns over this new video reply feature. Some Twitter users have pointed out that it is easy to abuse. This is because videos and photos are harder to scan or track for harassing content. Unscrupulous Twitter users can bypass the test scanning mechanism that detects harmful content.
Also, since you can’t block or limit people from quoting your tweet like you can with replies, it means there is little you can do to protect yourself from being targeted for harassment through an audio, video, or photo.
In an email statement to The Verge, Twitter, through its spokesperson, confirmed you cannot turn off or on video or photo replies yet. Responding to question about potential harassment with the new feature, Twitter wrote: “The safety of people on Twitter is our priority and while we don’t anticipate this being used in a harmful fashion, we’ll be closely monitoring the usage of the product and ensure that any abuse is adjudicated as per the Twitter Rules.”
Under the new CEO, Parag Agrawal, Twitter aims to release new features faster and more consistently. However, it has to deal with how people are likely to use or misuse these features.
Separately, Twitter revealed it is testing a new and more straightforward method to write a tweet by starting directly from your timeline instead of using a button that brings you to the compose screen. This feature is also available only on iOS.