Twitter just got more social thanks to two big new features - group direct messaging, and the ability to capture, edit and share videos from within the app.

The new features both directly challenge functionality that exists in two of Twitter's biggest rivals; group messaging is a central feature in WhatsApp Messenger, while users of Instagram can upload video from within the app.

Both of these rivals are owned by social network giant Facebook.

Twitter's Jinen Kamdar said: "A few months ago, we mentioned some features coming soon, and today we're excited to start rolling out two of them: group messaging and a new mobile video experience."

The introduction of group messaging is likely to catch the eye of Twitter users - private conversations between two users who follow each other are known as Direct Messages or DMs.

This has always felt fairly restricted, but now Twitter is taking steps to expand it.

Users will now be able to privately chat in groups, and perhaps most interestingly not everyone in a group needs to follow everyone else in it to enter the group; currently both parties must follow each other in order to exchange DMs.

Users can now create groups themselves within the messaging section of the app and those added will receive a notification about it.

It is a big step, and one that drops Twitter directly in line with rival WhatsApp, who at the moment are something of a group messaging Goliath.

Twitter has also become multimedia in recent years, as well as a source of news.

The amount of vines, GIFs and other videos that are attached to tweets has ensured that as the social network itself puts it "tweets have been more than 140 characters for some time now".

The introduction of video capturing and editing within the app will look to expand on that.

It means that users will now be able to capture, edit and share videos directly from the official app for the first time.

A similar feature was introduced for photos last year.

Videos of up to 30 seconds can be shared; this is substantially longer than Instagram, which only allows videos up to 15 seconds.

iPhone users will also be able to upload pre-recorded videos from their Camera Roll too, a feature that Twitter says will be coming to the Android version of the app in the near future.

These are both big steps for the social media site, which is working hard in an attempt to close the gap on Facebook, which can boast over a billion users compared to Twitter's more modest figures of around 300 million.

Group DMs and video capture have both been mentioned by Twitter in recent times as upcoming features, and they will begin rolling out to users in an update today.