Twitter update: a single swipe opens the camera, location-based hashtag suggestions, media-focused timelines & more

Twitter today announced a major camera-focused update to its app for iPhone and iPad, arriving just days after the company released a new app for testing upcoming new features.

“See it? Tweet it! Our updated camera is just a swipe away, so you get the shot fast,” reads the announcement. A simple swipe upward now instantly takes you to the overhauled camera.

This is much quicker than the old process where you had to tap the New Tweet button, then hit the Camera icon within the composer before being able to actually take an image.

Engadget called it the biggest changes to Twitter since the company shifted to 280 characters. While the revamped camera is Twitter’s answer to Stories, Engadget says it doesn’t really feel like a clone of Snapchat or Instagram Stories.

Once you get the update, the first thing you’ll notice is how much quicker it is to access the camera now: All you have to do is open the Twitter app on your phone, swipe left and you’re in. From there, you’ll have the Capture and Live options.

With Capture, you can either do a quick tap to snap a picture or hold it for a couple of seconds to record a video—those can be up to about two minutes right now, but Twitter says that will likely change in the future. If you hit the Live button, you can then stream to your followers using Periscope, Twitter’s video-streaming service.

TechCrunch is especially fond of the way the Twitter app will now show your media in a larger, more immersive format in the feed.

The imagery now appears before tweet text.

From the TechCrunch report:

When you swipe left on the timeline, you’ll see a Snapchat style camera shutter button that records photos with a tap and looping videos up to two minutes long if you hold.

A mini-swipe over and you can record video or audio-only live broadcasts without any Periscope branding. Twitter will then recommend hashtags based on big nearby events and other signals, or you can add your own, as well as a location and text.

You can choose between six colors for the TV news-style chyron tags that help Twitter route the content into the imagery carousels for its different What’s Happening sections.

“Twitter tells me it wants to focus on tags that will pipe content into the right conversations instead of beautifying the media,” according to TechCrunch.

Your Twitter camera is now a swipe away.

While there are no stickers, filters, light enhancements or other creative tools in the Twitter camera, those features are still accessible though the composer’s image uploader.

The updated Twitter camera is rolling out to all users over the next few days. Since this update is a staggered release, give it a few days if you don’t yet see it on App Store.

Download Twitter for iOS at no charge from App Store.