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twittergroupTwitter users will be able to communicate privately with groups of people on the social network under a new feature announced by the company this morning.

The Group Direct Messages feature makes Twitter a more realistic alternative to messaging apps like WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook last year for $22 billion.

“The group function lets you start conversations with any of your followers and they don’t all need to follow one another in order to chat. You can create a group in just a few taps,” explains Twitter in a post announcing the new feature. “When you’re added to a group, you’ll get a notification.”

The Twitter-owned TweetDeck desktop app is also getting the same group messaging functionality.

Twitter this morning also unveiled a feature to let users take, edit and share videos directly from the Twitter mobile app, with new built-in video functionality.

“Our unique mobile video camera and inline editing experience lets you capture and share videos up to 30 seconds in an instant,” the company says. “Twitter for iPhone users will be able to upload videos from the camera roll as well (a feature that will be available on our Android app soon).”

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