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Does Twitter Really Need Reaction Video Tweets?

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Do you ever feel like text just doesn’t fully capture your thoughts or reactions when responding to someone’s tweet on Twitter?

You’re probably not alone, and Twitter is testing a new way to help you express yourself better when reacting to a tweet—TikTok-style reaction videos. But is this a good or bad idea?

In this article, we’ll weigh both arguments for and against TikTok-style reaction videos, and whether they will improve the site or just add another cloned feature that no one ends up using.


Twitter Is Testing TikTok-Style Reaction Videos

Person Playing Video on an iPhone.

For a long time, photos were the most popular type of content on most social media apps.

However, over the years, video content has become increasingly popular, with the likes of TikTok benefiting from the rise of short-form videos the most.

It is unsurprising, then, that Twitter is testing reaction videos for retweets.

Read more: Twitter Tries to Take on TikTok With Reaction Videos for Retweets

But does Twitter really need reaction videos? Let’s start with the reasons why we think this could work…

How Reaction Videos Could Enhance the Twitter Experience

Person Looking at Another Person's Phone

In truth, there is always a strong case for video content on the social media platforms that allow for it and for which it makes sense (unlike Clubhouse, for example).

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Here are some of the reasons why reaction videos could enhance the Twitter experience…

Reactions Are Quicker

While Twitter is generally the sort of app where everything typically happens in real-time, texting can be time-consuming.

That’s because you have to carefully think about what you’re going to text and how, including checking your grammar and spelling, to avoid ridicule or embarrassment from the nitpickers.

The option of responding with a video, however, means that all you have to do is quickly turn your camera on and capture your response, or select and upload a suitable video. This takes a matter of seconds and your response is good to go.

Adding an Additional Mode of Expression

Twitter users really value being heard and the ability to just be themselves by expressing their thoughts in the most honest way possible.

Reaction videos give Twitter users another way to do just that, even enabling them to better express themselves in a way that is more natural than texting.

Making Conversations Feel More Natural

The ability to respond to a tweet with a video will make conversations on the app feel a little more natural, like real-life conversations, as users respond to each other’s tweets with video clips.

Diversifying the Twitter Experience

Images Shared on Twitter Featured

Twitter is a mostly text-based platform. While it works, communicating mainly via text can feel a bit one-dimensional.

And while Spaces are a good and sometimes necessary break from that, they aren’t part of the normal, everyday Twitter experience.

Related: Hosting a Twitter Space? Here’s How to Record It

Video tweets also aren’t as popular as texts are, so short video responses may just be what is missing from the overall Twitter experience.

A Feature to Replace Fleets

As mentioned above, there is still a gap for video content that works on Twitter, especially since the failure of Fleets.

Fleets allowed you to see your followers in their element as they posted snippets of their day, which sometimes included video content.

Video responses could make up for that by allowing users to share video content in ways that feel most natural to them.

How Reaction Videos Might Compromise the Twitter Experience

We can’t run away from the fact that Twitter has a dark side, and that the ability to respond to tweets with videos can cause some harm. Here’s how…


Harassment and Abuse

As with all social media and online platforms, there is always a risk of people harassing and abusing others on the platform.

And a video response is just one more way to do that. It could even cause more emotional harm than text, since video responses are more personal.

There’s no telling how harmful this could especially be to teens and vulnerable users.

Related: Negative Effects of Social Media on People and Users

Inappropriate Content

Because video responses are sent in real-time and are new, Twitter may face more difficulties filtering and censoring inappropriate content.

This could pose a problem for some users and make their Twitter experience unpleasant. The platform already has its hands full moderating its current content—adding video reactions could add more complexity to that task.

Does Twitter Need Reaction Video Tweets?

When it comes to the case for reaction videos on Twitter, the good outweighs the bad. Video content makes engagement easier, and encourages more engagement.

While Twitter might not be ready for longer videos, its fast-paced, laid-back nature allows for short video content. And what better way to do that than with a video reacting to a tweet that’s caught your attention?

It will be interesting to see how this feature performs on Twitter, particularly how it enhances conversations on the platform.


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