Despite rumors that it's planning a video featureWhile Twitter may have lost some of its luster, news about the microblogging service is still getting people exited, even if it's not exactly accurate. Over the weekend the news of a new video feature to be introduced by Twitter, despite lacking in details and most people being skeptical about it, made a few rounds before being completely debunked by the site's cofounder Biz Stone. Twitter of course isn't introducing a video feature anytime soon and this shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone even slightly familiar with the microblogging service's ways of doing things.
The story went that Twitter was thinking about introducing the possibility to add short videos to the tweets from mobile phones or computers to add a sort of pseudo-live video-tweeting component to the service. This would be done so that the site would regain its status as the hippest social network of the moment. There are already services offering similar capabilities, like Tweetube and Twideo, and, even though they're not exactly as popular as Twitpic for example, it could be conceived that Twitter was at least considering the possibility.
Of course, there was one simple way of avoiding all of the speculation, simply asking Twitter about it, in which case the answer might have been something along the lines of: “Haven’t read the piece but no video hosting. 140 characters of text including spaces. You know the drill!,” which is what Biz Stone told Mashable when asked about the story.
Twitter has been quite reluctant in adding new features, choosing to rely on third-party services to add new capabilities to its core functionality. There are a multitude of desktop and mobile clients, a number of popular photo-hosting services and so on, all built by outside parties. Even some of the features built into the service, like @-replies or the upcoming retweet feature, have been pioneered by its users before being adopted by the site. There's also another reason why Twitter would be reluctant to introduce a service that would effectively compete with third-party offerings or favor one provide over the other: it most likely wants to avoid a situation similar to the Bit.ly one, as the URL shortener chosen by default by Twitter now controls some 70 percent of the market, a move that led to some criticism.