Twitter introduces 140-second videos, Instagram says user base now at more than 500 million

Twitter is now allowing users to post longer videos of up to 140 seconds.
Twitter is now allowing users to post longer videos of up to 140 seconds.PHOTO: AFP

BANGALORE (REUTERS) - Twitter, known for its 140-character limit on tweets, is now allowing users to post longer videos - of up to 140 seconds.

The microblogging site also said that some publishers would also be able to create videos that were as long as 10 minutes.

Twitter also launched Twitter Engage, a new mobile app that allows publishers to analyse interactions with followers.

Twitter previously restricted videos to 30 seconds.

The new 140-second limit also applies to Vine, Twitter's video streaming service, which previously had a six-second limit.

"Video is becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter," Jeremy Rishel, Twitter's vice-president of engineering, wrote in a blog post.

The news comes a day after Twitter said it bought London-based Magic Pony Technology, a machine-learning start-up that specialises in working with images, to deliver better video and picture content.

Twitter's shares were marginally higher in early trading on Tuesday.

Twitter's announcement came as Instagram reported on Tuesday that it now boasts more than 500 million users, more than 80 percent of whom are outside the United States, in a sign of the photo-sharing app's rapidly growing global reach.

The company owned by Facebook had 400 million users last September. It has seen its user base more than double over the past two years.

Instagram added that 300 million people used the app every day.

Instagram has quickly eclipsed its rivals, notably Twitter, which has seen its user base stall at just above 300 million. Facebook has about 1.6 billion users.