Spotted by Neal Mann, the update applies only to videos that use Twitter’s homegrown, in-app video player. If you’re unsure, these videos mean you should see a full-screen player with retweet, favorite and reply shortcuts when you first press the play button in your feed. Furthermore, the new functionality isn’t supported by YouTube videos, Vines, or any other clips that are hosted elsewhere on the Web and visible via Twitter’s regular Player Card.
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Inside the iOS app, you can try these tweets to get a feel for how it works:
When you launch the video, just tap the icon in the top right-hand corner to minimize the player. It’ll then appear in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and you can browse the rest of the app as normal. A blue progress bar will appear over the minimized version to denote your progress.
The concept is similar to the YouTube mobile apps, which also give you the ability to continue video playback with a mini player while browsing.
Based on the brands that are using the player and the amp.twimg.com-based links used for hosting the clips, it’s fair to assume this is another evolution of the Twitter Amplify program. Most notably, this initiative has been used to promote “two-screen viewing” experiences and real-time, in-tweet viewing from broadcasters such as BBC America, FOX and The Weather Channel.
Twitter tested one-tap video playback for Amplify partner clips earlier this year and it now seems to be an established part of its website and mobile apps. It’s possible the mini player in the iOS app is also a test, although given multiple writers at TNW have confirmed they have access, it appears to be a pretty wide roll-out. Notably, the mini player functionality doesn’t seem to be live in the Android app, although of course that could change in the future.
We’ve contacted to Twitter to find out more.
Top image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images