Have more to say? Twitter now lets you upload longer videos

Twitter continues its march of self-improvement

Twitter is expanding the length of videos users can create and share from 30 seconds to 140 seconds. That's a whole 2 minutes and 20 seconds to showcase your basketball skills, make a political statement or broadcast your cat. Or, a combo of all three.

Twitter says video tweets have gone up by more than 50% since the beginning of the year, a staggering figure and confirmation that video is an increasingly important part of social media platforms.

With Facebook making big moves with video - including lifting the limit on Facebook Live streams so you can broadcast beyond 90 minutes - it only makes sense Twitter is giving its users more virtual film to work with.

Longer videos mean more time spent on its service, which is all Twitter can really ask for. That, and more users, which the longer limit may also help with if it becomes a go-to for engaging video content.

Users can upload longer videos on Twitter for iOS and Android as well as on desktop. Twitter for Mac and Twitter for Windows will get lengthier video love "soon."

Longer Vines

Along with its video tweet announcement, Twitter also revealed it's allowing for Vine videos of up to 140 seconds. The new length - a whole 23x longer than its 6-second limit - is only rolling out to a small set of creators in a beta.

Twitter, which owns Vine, is positioning the longer vids as a "mini movie" compared to the 6-second "trailer", but we'll see how it catches on with users.

Finally, Twitter announced a new full-screen viewing experience that plays a larger video when you tap on it, plus gives you suggestions of related videos and Vine tweets you may want to watch next. This feature is only rolling out to Twitter's iOS and Android apps.

Time(line) for self-improvement

Twitter has gone on a tear to improve its user experience as of late, making today's video announcement one of many.

The microblogging service recently stopped counting mentions and some attachments against its 140-character limit, giving users more to work with when they tweet.

It didn't stop there, though. Users can now retweet themselves, and beginning a tweet with "@username" won't just keep it a 1:1 conversation. Now, everyone who follows you will see what you tweet, no "." at the beginning required.

Separate from today's video announcement is Twitter Engage, a new app designed to help celebrities connect with their followers and keep better tabs on their metrics.

Will all these moves amount to Twitter keeping and growing users? Time will tell, but at least it's giving it the old college try.

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News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.