Updated from 2:44 p.m. to include comments from CEO Dick Costolo in the fourth paragraph.
SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Twitter (TWTR) announced Wednesday plans to provide its 284 million active users with a way to take, edit, and share video in real time directly through its application. The hosted video offering, distinct from 6-second video app Vine, will arrive in the first half of 2015, Twitter Vice President of Product Management Christian Oestlien said.
"We also want to give [users] as many tools as possible to create and, or share great content themselves," Oestlien said Wednesday during Twitter's first-ever analyst day in San Francisco, Calif. "Imagine the power and impact of Twitter on world events and personal experiences as they unfold in real time on our platform through video."
The coming-next-year video offering ties into Twitter's desire to make the platform a more media-rich environment and follows past releases such as the ability to upload multiple photos and tag Twitter accounts in photos. Currently, Twitter users can only share video on the social network by way of third-party applications or Twitter's looping video app Vine. The native service will allow people to capture and share video from inside the Twitter app for the first time.
"We believe that during events, during any sort of local events, national events, global events, the opportunities for people, participants, and those watching the event to be live tweeting those things and broadcasting to the world what they're seeing is a massive use case," Costolo said in response to a question as to why people will chose to upload and share video on Twitter versus competitors, such as Instagram and Facebook (FB) .The product announcement was sandwiched in with number of important revelations at Analyst Day, including the first-time disclosure that Twitter attracts 500 million monthly unique visitors who do not log in to the service. Executives also announced plans to continue to improve on the new user on-boarding experience with an "Instant Timeline," which when released will obviate the need for new users to follow accounts when they first sign up. Previous new improvements to the on-boarding process have resulted in a 200% increase in the number of accounts that new users follow, Oestlien said.
In addition, Twitter's product executives not only detailed progress from in-process initiatives, but also shed light on how it plans to keep its logged-in audience engaged.
A feature in testing called "Timeline Highlights," pictured above, inserts a selection of the "best" tweets that took place while the user was way atop the home Timeline. The experiment has performed well in metropolitan test markets, Trevor O'Brien, director of product Management at Twitter, said. The feature, which O'Brien said helped to "supplement the real-time experience," marks the company's continued move away from its origins as a strictly real-time service in an effort to hook people who might otherwise be overwhelmed.
Twitter's focus, O'Brien said, is to make sure that every time you visit Twitter, sign in to Twitter, or even leave Twitter, you get "great content;" the latter example through push notifications.
Altogether, Wednesday's insights into the company's plans to grow its audience and capitalize on its non-logged users have immediately renewed Wall Street's confidence in the company. After losing 20% in value in the time since its third-quarter earnings report, Twitter's stock is shooting back up on Wednesday.
Shares were trading up 7% at $42.40 at the time of publication.
--Written by Jennifer Van Grove in San Francisco, Calif.
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