Twitter catches the TikTok bug, goes all vertical video

Twitter scrollable video screenshot
(Image credit: Twitter)

Twitter has announced that it has caught the same affliction that Instagram is dealing with — it's trying to be TikTok.

In a post to the Twitter blog, the social network announced that it is rolling out a new, scrollable full-screen video experience to users on iOS. "To help make it easier to find and watch what’s happening, we’re rolling out two new updates to how you experience videos on Twitter," the blog post said after noting that videos are watched billions of times on its platform.

Twitter scroller

"Twitter’s updated immersive media viewer expands videos to full screen with a single click, allowing you to easily access the full, immersive viewing experience," the announcement explained. Using it is as simple as tapping on a video in the official Twitter app.

To make video discovery easier, Twitter says that users can "scroll up to start browsing more engaging video content" once a video ends. The back arrow is always there to give people a way to get out of the video view and back to their timeline, too.

Twitter says that the new "immersive media viewer" is rolling out to people across its network in the coming days — although only in English, and only on iOS. Everyone else will have to wait a little while longer, it seems.

Twitter also announced a new video portion of the Explore tab, giving people a way to find videos that are specifically suited to them thanks to a new "Videos for you" category.

If this all sounds familiar, it's because it is — TikTok has long been the king of the hill for vertical and scrollable video, despite attempts by Instagram and Meta to catch up. Twitter might not be trying to go toe-to-toe with TikTok just now, but it's easy to see where the inspiration is coming from.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.